Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc.
- Case Date: 7/30/2010
- Project Name: Health Care Project
On February 22, 2011, the U. S. Supreme Court held that a federal law expressly preempts all state-law products liability suits challenging the design of widely administered childhood vaccines, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already determined to be safe and effective. The decision was a victory for the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF), which filed a brief urging affirmance of the decision below. The Court agreed with WLF that Congress mandated preemption of design defect claims when it adopted the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (the Vaccine Act), which established a national, comprehensive, no-fault compensation program for vaccine-related injuries. A contrary interpretation, WLF argued, would ignore both the vital role vaccines have historically played in safeguarding the public health, as well as the national health emergency that resulted in the 1980s from the very patchwork of state tort liability that the plaintiffs below sought to revive.
|Oral argument held Nov. 10, 2010. Awaiting decision.|
More Information and Downloads:
7/30/2010: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: High Court Upholds Preemption Of Design Defect Suits Involving Vaccines