COVID Vaccines and Personal Injury Lawsuits
One of the least inspiring reasons to get the new COVID vaccine is that Congress has offered Pfizer & co broadscale immunity from product liability lawsuits related to their vaccine. In other words, if you suffer any ill side effects from the vaccine, chances are, you will not be able to file a lawsuit against the company that produced it.
Since pharmaceutical companies are one of the largest lobbies in the U.S., they have tremendous power to pass legislation that is favorable to their interests. Nonetheless, the U.S. government does have an incentive to protect these companies from lawsuits. The greater incentive, however, should be to encourage Americans to get the vaccine. Offering blanket immunity for personal injury claims is more likely to do the opposite.
Who Can I Sue Over a COVID Vaccine Reaction?
Basically, no one. The pharmaceutical companies that fast-tracked the vaccine are immune from lawsuits. So is an employer who requires an employee to get a COVID vaccine. Only a doctor who administered a COVID vaccine while failing to account for the risk it could cause to their patient may still be liable. But that may not last.
What Happens If I Suffer Irreparable Harm Due to a COVID Vaccine?
Congress has created a seldom-used fund that allows those who have suffered the ill effects of a vaccine to file claims. However, the vast majority of these claims have been rejected and lawyers seldom attempt to file claims against the fund. In many instances, those who are filing claims against the fund allege that their children have autism because of vaccines, a controversial and discredited theory that still finds weight in the conspiracy theory section of the internet.
Congress has created the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). While pharmaceutical companies manufacturing COVID supplies may be immune to lawsuits, the CICP should pay injury claims related to COVID vaccines or other COVID-related medical supplies. Congress cannot leave individuals with no means of remuneration from negligent injury. But instead of the company footing the bill, it will be the taxpayers.
Why is Congress Preventing Lawsuits Against COVID Vaccine Manufacturers?
Vaccines generally take decades to manufacture. The expedited timeline is one major consideration. While trials have shown that the vaccine is effective at creating an immune response, it has not been tested on so many people that we can anticipate negative reactions before they happen. Drug companies are generally strictly liable when their drugs cause someone a serious medical problem. That means that plaintiffs do not have to prove negligence, only injury.
It still seems like the priorities in this equation aren’t right. By preventing lawsuits against Pfizer, Congress will scare off several people who would otherwise want the vaccine. If their ultimate goal is to stop the spread of the virus, then this seems like the wrong measure to take.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. represent plaintiffs in prescription drug claims, product liability claims, and personal injury claims. Call today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation with a skilled lawyer.