There may be some health risks associated with childhood vaccinations, including the risk of long-term health defects or the contraction of diseases. So, can parents sue if their child suffers from a vaccine-related injury?
Such lawsuits can be difficult to win because of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act, which states that vaccine manufacturers cannot be held liable for vaccine-related injuries or deaths if the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings. Hence, parents cannot usually collect compensation if the vaccine-related injuries or death was the result of unavoidable side effects.
WSBTV reports that the Georgia Supreme Court recently reversed an earlier decision in favor of a Fulton County couple who sued several vaccine manufactures after their toddler suffered from neurological damage from childhood vaccinations. The couple claims that their son stopped speaking after he received all his childhood vaccinations and that his disability was caused by vaccines that contain thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative.
A trial court in this case ruled in favor of the vaccine manufacturers, but the higher State Supreme Court reversed the trial court's decision in 2008 and sided with the family. Most recently, presiding Justice George Carley reversed the 2008 ruling in order to follow a similar U.S. Supreme Court decision that sided with the vaccine manufacturers.
Parents believe their children suffer from a vaccine-related injury should look into the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). FindLaw states that this program was designed to be a federal, no-fault alternative to traditional courtroom litigation for resolving vaccine injury claims. The program can provide compensation to certain victims of vaccine injuries.