February 23, 2011 08:03 AM Eastern Time WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), whose co-founders worked with Congress on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (PL-99-660), is calling yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision giving drug companies total liability protection for injuries and deaths caused by government mandated vaccines a “betrayal” of the American consumer.
In a 6-2 decision, the Court majority voted to reject substantial evidence in the Act’s legislative history that the 99th Congress fully intended to protect an American’s right to sue a pharmaceutical corporation for injuries that could have been prevented if the company had elected to make a safer vaccine.
NVIC co-founder and president Barbara Loe Fisher, said “Parents of vaccine injured children, who worked in good faith with Congress in the early 1980’s on the 1986 law, have been betrayed by six American judges, who ignored congressional intent and threw victims of vaccine injury under the bus in order to give complete liability protection to a wealthy industry with a long history of hiding their products’ risks. They have removed the safety net we were promised. If we had known this day would come, we would have vigorously opposed any federal legislation that limited civil liability for drug corporations now making substantial profits from vaccines mandated by government.”
Hannah Bruesewitz was brain injured by DPT vaccine as a child but she was denied compensation by the U.S. Court of Claims, which administers the federal vaccine injury compensation program created by the 1986 Act that has turned away two out of three plaintiffs. Her attorneys then sued in civil court, providing evidence that Wyeth-Lederle had the technology to produce a less reactive, purified pertussis vaccine but declined to do so.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has removed all financial incentive for multi-national pharmaceutical corporations, which enjoy a $20 billion dollar business, to make vaccines as safe as they can be,” said Fisher. “This is a sad day for all Americans forced by law to use dozens of doses of vaccines or be barred from school or health insurance or employment. The only leverage left to American consumers to ensure that vaccines with the fewest health risks are produced is to oppose vaccine mandates and work to defend vaccine exemptions in all public health laws.”
The National Vaccine Information Center is a non-profit charity founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education. NVIC co-founders were responsible for inclusion of vaccine safety and research provisions in the 1986 Act, including theVaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, and for ensuring that the Act protected the right of those injured by vaccines to access the civil court system if they were turned down for compensation or offered too little to meet their lifetime medical care needs.
NVIC has been critical of the failure of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to implement the 1986 law in accordance with legislative language, history and congressional intent. For more information, go to www.NVIC.org.
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