The rush to get the Covid-19 vaccination to the general public will undoubtedly lead to future litigation in many venues. One such venue will likely be the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Originally established by Congress to provide a level of liability protection to pharmaceutical companies for injuries caused by childhood vaccinations, recently, the program has become inundated with claims associated with injuries to adults by the influenza vaccination. One can expect that eventually, the same will occur with the Covid-19 vaccination.
Under the program, before bringing a claim against a pharmaceutical company, an injured party must file a claim in the Vaccination Court, which is a part of the United States Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, DC. A petitioner need not obtain a final resolution of his/her claim in the Court, but must participate in the program for a period of time before electing to either remain in the program or withdraw the claim and proceed with a lawsuit.
In order to bring a claim, a Petitioner must first establish that the vaccination that he/she was injured by is on the table that has been established under the program. While the table currently includes most vaccinations, some vaccinations have not been included in the table. Currently, the Covid-19 vaccination is one such vaccination that has not yet been added to the table. It seems likely given the rush to develop the vaccination, the widespread administration of the vaccination, the inevitable and unknown side effects that will occur, and Congress’ intention to provide a level of protection to the pharmaceutical companies, that the vaccination will be added to the table in the very near future.
Because the program, requires Petitioners to establish three things in order to be compensated, including showing how the vaccination can actually cause the side effect claimed by the Petitioner, practicing in the program requires significant experience in handling such claims. Pursuing a claim in the program is far different than pursuing a lawsuit in court. It specifically requires the use of experts who are familiar with such claims and the unique format of the program.
Currently, our firm is the only firm in the State of Maine handling such claims, although it is inevitable that other attorneys will line up, anticipating the certain claims of those who will suffer unfortunate side effects of the vaccination. We have extensive experience litigating successful petitions in the program, including prevailing on contested hearings overturning denials of claims on appeal to the United States Court of Federal Claims. We have obtained compensation for several individuals across the United States who have suffered side effects from vaccinations. While we do not yet know the full effects of the rush to provide this vaccination to the general public will have, it would seem more than likely that the vaccination will be added to the list of those vaccinations eligible for compensation under the program, and, if so, that the program will soon be overwhelmed with such claims.
Published By Verne Paradie