Covid Vaccine Injury Suit May Fuel Federal Overhaul, Litigation. Bloomberg Law has a great article on how litigation on COVID Vaccine injuries are being handled.
We may never know how many thousands if not millions suffered and in many cases died from the vaccines worldwide. Hopefully this lawsuit will help and bring more claims forward.
Lawyers say the move could spur Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services to reform how they handle vaccine injuries, as well as push more of the individuals alleging injuries to not just sue the government, but the drugmakers that the program is meant to shield from litigation.
The administration of President Joe Biden is hiring additional attorneys to help handle the workload from vaccine lawsuits after seeing a spike in people filing claims.
The COVID-19 pandemic thrust the potential side effects of vaccines into the spotlight, prompting fierce debate about whether the benefits outweigh the potential negative outcomes. While COVID vaccine side effects have been limited, several lawsuits from plaintiffs who have experienced adverse effects have attempted to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable.
A job posting on LinkedIn from the Department of Justice advertised for a trial attorney to specialize in cases related to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The legislation provides compensation to those injured by certain vaccines.
It’s unclear if the attorneys the Biden administration is hiring will be responsible for COVID-19 vaccine claims. COVID-19 vaccines are covered under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), not the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. Vaccines covered under the VICP include tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella, and polio.
Newsweek has reached out to the Department of Justice on Monday via media form for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
The position posted online advised applicants that they will have to handle heavy caseloads and work on cases that involve complex scientific issues that require expert witnesses. Since most cases are resolved without a trial, attorneys should be prepared to engage in settlement and damage negotiations, according to the posting.
Adverse side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although some have died from them. Myocarditis, among the side effects, is most common in young males.
People who were negatively affected by the vaccine have expressed frustration with getting compensation from the U.S. government. In a recent lawsuit in Louisiana, plaintiffs called the process unconstitutional and a “black hole” in the judicial process. The lawsuit argues that the CICP provides “no timeline” for resolving their cases and one plaintiff had their case denied. The plaintiffs allege the COVID-19 vaccine led them to experience Bell’s palsy, brain blood clots, vascular inflammation and heart palpitations.
The CICP was created in 2005 and was used to deal with claims resulting from public health emergencies like anthrax exposure and the Ebola virus. It offers limited compensation, according to Reuters, and doesn’t have the option to provide compensation for damages or legal fees.
Unaccustomed to handling a large volume of cases, the program was flooded with more than 12,000 COVID-related claims. Only 32 had been deemed eligible for compensation and 1,129 had been denied as of October, according to Reuters.
Petitioners argued they didn’t have the opportunity to review evidence used against them or engage in other basic practices that would be afforded them in a trial. There are no hearings in CICP cases, and the decision is made by unidentified officials based on what a claimant submits.
Frustrations with vaccine injury compensation suits isn’t something unique to COVID claims. Attorneys and activists for years have been pushing for reform, pressing for the hiring of additional staff to handle the VICP cases. As of October, there was a backlog of nearly 4,000 claims, according to Bloomberg. Lawyers working on the cases hope Congress will pass legislation to reform how vaccine injuries are handled and for people to take action against pharmaceutical companies, not just the government.
“‘This is the first domino to fall,” David Carney, a Green & Schafle LLC attorney representing people injured by vaccines, told Bloomberg. “We’re going to start to see a windfall.”