TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AALS Torts & Compensation Section Meeting on Vaccines and Drugs

Saturday January 8, 2011
 1:30-3:15 PM
Section on Torts and Compensation Systems
Market Street, Third Floor Level, Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco Union Square
Vaccines and Drugs: A Brave New Tort World
(Papers to be published in the Indiana Health Law Review)
Moderator: Catherine M. Sharkey, New York University School of Law
Speakers: James R. Copland, Director, Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy, New York, NY
Mary J. Davis, University of Kentucky College of Law
Robert L. Rabin, Stanford Law School
Malcolm E. Wheeler, Partner, Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP, Denver, CO
The proliferation of vaccine and pharmaceutical drug-related injuries challenges our conceptions of how the tort system can best meet its compensatory and regulatory aims in the 21st century. In 1986, Congress created the National Childhood Vaccine Act, establishing a no-fault compensation scheme for vaccine-related injuries. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc. to decide whether design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers are preempted. This follows closely on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Wyeth v. Levine, finding that failure to warn claims against a drug manufacturer were not preempted. Our panelists—who include two prominent torts and products liability scholars (Professors Davis and Rabin), a seasoned litigator (Mr. Wheeler), and a policy expert (Mr. Copland)—will explore whether it makes sense to have separate legal regimes for vaccines and other pharmaceuticals. They will also address issues at the core of tort law in the modern administrative state: the need for no-fault victim compensation and the respective roles of litigation and governmental regulation.
Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.
Note that we finally have a location!

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