Not just because this family will be able to exercise their rights, but more significantly for our community, that such a suit will include a beautiful thing called:
A large portion of what we learn about harmful products comes into the public forum, not because the companies immediately shared what they knew about the potential harm to the public from their product, as such disclosures tend to effect profits, but when they get sued and are forced to be honest under penalty of law.
One would like to believe that when it comes to the health and functioning of children, corporations would set aside market goals and fully disclose, but sadly history has not always born that out.
We already know that Wyeth's response to the SIDS outbreak caused by a hot lot of their vaccine in TN in 1979 was to change their policies so that no full lot went to one area so cases of damage or death would not be traced back to them. So I think we might learn some new things about Wyeth via the Ferrari’s suit.
Stay tuned to see what comes out of this next big case. It is probably going to the Supreme Court.
From the AJC:
High court: Atlanta couple can sue over vaccination
Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari can take case to court over son’s disabilities
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Monday, October 06, 2008
An Atlanta couple’s lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers can go to trial on claims a childhood vaccine caused neurological damage to their young son, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.
In a landmark decision, the state high court unanimously ruled that Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari’s lawsuit is not barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. The court upheld a prior decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals, which was the first appellate court in the nation to make such a ruling.
When the Ferraris’ 18-month-old son, Stefan, received his vaccines, he was a healthy verbal boy. Now 10, Stefan has not spoken since, according to court records.
A year after Stefan received his vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris filed suit, contending that the manufacturers should have made vaccines without the preservative before Stefan was vaccinated.
The companies argued that the 1986 vaccine act shields manufacturers from liability in civil lawsuits for damages caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.
In Monday’s ruling, written by Justice George Carley, the state Supreme Court said the vaccine act “clearly does not preempt all design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers.”
Instead, it provides “that a vaccine manufacturer cannot be held liable for defective design if it is determined, on a case-by-case basis, that the injurious side effects of the particular vaccine were unavoidable,” the ruling said.
More at Law.com:
Ga. Supreme Court Backs Vaccine Suit in Autism Case
Wyeth Can Be Sued For Thimerosal In A Vaccine