News Center

Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

Vaccines And The Supremes

Publication Date: 
October 22, 2010
Michael Fumento

Professor Kathleen Sullivan is quoted in Forbes, commenting on the Supreme Court case Bruesewitz v. Wyeth about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program:

Every injured person deserves his or her day in court, right? Wrong. Throughout the civilized world, the national sport is soccer; here it’s litigation. We need certain restrictions just to keep from having more courthouses than gas stations.

One of those is at risk and if it falls would threaten the health of tens of millions of children.

The Supreme Court last week heard oral arguments in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, in which the plaintiffs are trying to bypass the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). It was established in 1988 to pay out legitimate claims while keeping the vaccine industry from being wiped out by a mass of lawsuits relying on the simple post hoc fallacy, or “after this therefore because of this.” The child was healthy before being vaccinated and became ill at some point after, therefore the vaccine must have been the cause.


Wyeth’s counsel Kathleen Sullivan pointed out that in plain old English nobody is even arguing whether the vaccine was properly prepared or labeled. It was. There’s absolutely nothing in the statute saying a design defect allegation allows bypassing the system, and in any case only somebody with Frederick’s highly impressive legal background would even try to argue that the term applies to something the FDA approved and never withdrew.