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Supreme Court May Hold Key For Vaccine Foes

Publication Date: 
April 05, 2010
Source: 
Law.com
Author: 
Tony Mauro

Professor Kathleen Sullivan will represent Wyeth in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth being argued this fall in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case will decide whether the federal vaccine law pre-empts state law tort claims of vaccine design defects. Tony Mauro of the National Law Journal filed this story:

In spite of recent courtroom losses, parents who blame their children's autism at least in part on childhood vaccines say their legal battle is far from over.

"We've always been in it to the very end," said Theresa Cedillo of Yuma, Ariz., whose autistic daughter Michelle became the focus of a key test case at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2007. Even though the special master in the case ruled against her, Cedillo said, "I am optimistic. We have met our burden."

One reason for her optimism is that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear next fall the case of Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, a non-autism case that asks the justices to decide whether the federal vaccine law pre-empts state law tort claims of vaccine design defects.

David Frederick, a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel who trounced Wyeth in a drug pre-emption case last year, will argue against Wyeth again in the Bruesewitz case. He'll face off against former Stanford Law School dean Kathleen Sullivan, now name partner and head of the appellate practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.