October 21, 2009
Swine Flu Vaccine Litigation
Last week saw the beginning of the delivery of vaccines for the H1N1 or "swine flu" virus. Perhaps the only thing more predictable than the worry that we will not have enough of the vaccine are the lawsuits that have already been filed.
In New York state court, a group of health care workers has filed a lawsuit alleging that mandatory vaccination of all health care workers violates their civil rights. The judge granted a temporary restraining order and has scheduled a further hearing for next week.
Another lawsuit filed in the D.C. Circuit challenges the licensing of the vaccines, alleging that the vaccines are untested and unsafe.
These cases, along with any lawsuits alleging actual injury from receiving the injections, are sure to raise issues of interest to civil procedure and federal courts scholars, from possible consolidation of a mass tort, to potential application of the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Act (42 U.S.C. 300aa 1-34), and preemption issues.
Stay tuned for further developments in this field.
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