We have previously discussed a lawsuit involving a girl injured following an inoculation she received as a young child. The New York Times recently editorialized on the family’s quest to hold the makers of the damaging vaccine accountable reached the United States Supreme Court last week, when the Justices heard oral arguments in the case Bruesewitz v. Wyeth.
The outcome of the case will have repercussions in many other pending lawsuits in which injured individuals have filed state lawsuits against the manufacturers of vaccines that cased them harm. In that way, it will set an important benchmark for all those interested in patients’ rights and the fair recovery for families suffering following vaccine problems.
Specifically, the heart of the case concerns the legal concept known as “pre-emption.” The term involves determining when a federal law overrides a state law on a certain topic-in this case, the right to sue manufacturers for vaccine mistakes. The drug companies are arguing that a federal law which regulates federal claims of this nature should force the state law to operate in the same way. In other words, they assert that if a type of vaccine lawsuit is not allowed in the federal court system, than it also should not be allowed according to state law.
However, on the other side, patients’ rights groups rightful argue that our justice system has always honored the federalist tradition, where state laws are free to diverge from federal laws so long as the federal law did not specifically intend to force the hand of all state legislatures across the country. The Supreme Court has stated clearly that there is a strong presumption against pre-emption. States should be free to protect citizens in certain ways, even if the federal government does not.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti continue to stand by our faith and belief in the legal justice system. At the very least, families suffering because of these inoculation injuries should be given a fair hearing in the court of justice, and the manufacturers should be able to present their defense. We must then trust the judge and jury to weigh the evidence and make the appropriate ruling. Stopping the process before it even reaches that point is arbitrary, unfair, and against the spirit of the judicial system.