Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Dark Side of Vaccine Court


There are courts for just about everything – but most Americans are not aware there is a Vaccine Court.  How did this evolve? In 1986  Congress created the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Sounds good on paper – but as Wayne will discuss there is a dark side to this ‘justice. So what is the vaccine court? It is a federal claim’s court that deals specifically with vaccine cases where families can go for injury compensation if their child is injured by a vaccine.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) – although at first glance a relief for vaccine injured, was not designed with the welfare of the American public in mind. The vaccine court was in fact created as a ‘no-fault compensation program to protect pharmaceuticals companies from being sued by parent’s of brain-injured children as a result of compulsory childhood vaccines. The claims are managed and adjudicated by the congressionally created Office of Special Masters, which consists of eight special masters appointed to serve for four year terms.

During the 1980’s juries in these cases were found to be more sympathetic with the plaintiffs and in October 1988 because the U.S. government, who also has a vested interest in the pharmaceutical ‘golden egg’ vaccine industry, Congress passed the Vaccine Act that on one hand effectively protects pharmaceutical companies while on the other hand collects a tax (.75 per dose; $2.25 per 3-dose vaccine such as MMR) on medical consumers to pay for vaccine death and injury.

It appears that the public is not only not aware of the ‘obscure’ court – ruled over by even more ‘obscure’ special masters who make the final decision on whether or not a vaccine-injury award is granted – and on the amount of compensation received. In fact, NVICP was developed with distinct guidelines that require cases to be adjudicated within 240 days with a 150 day extension. As Health Impact News reported in their September 17th, 2014 article, How the Government has Earned $3.5 BILLION from the Claim that Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism, many of those cases have taken years to settle – up to 11 years for one family. There is a limit of $250,000 compensation for death, however compensation in the millions have been awarded to vaccine-injured plaintiffs.

But the dark side gets even darker. According to ABA Journal Vaccine court is profitable for some lawyers, who get paid win or lose, “Private lawyers have been paid more than $60 million for cases they lost in a national vaccine court that hears vaccine compensation claims contested by the federal government.”

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