November 30, 2010
Vaccines & Drugs: A Brave New Tort World
AALS Torts & Compensation Chair Cathy Sharkey has put together a fantastic panel for the 2011 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The overview:
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 21stcentury. 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 (Mary Davis, who posted on a related issue on Monday, and Bob Rabin, who will guest blog with us next semester), a seasoned litigator (Mal Wheeler), and a policy expert (James 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.
The program is Saturday, January 8th from 1:30 to 3:15. The location has not been finalized because of an ongoing labor dispute. I'll provide an update on the location when it's available. I hope to see you there.
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