European Court OKs Vaccine Lawsuits Lacking Proof

The European Union’s highest court issued a ruling yesterday that allows plaintiffs to sue vaccine makers without providing scientific evidence of harm.

By | June 22, 2017

© BRYAN SATALINOThe Court of Justice of the European Union, the international consortium’s highest legal forum, ruled yesterday (June 21) that courts can consider lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim wrongdoing by vaccine makers even if there is no scientific evidence supporting the link between an illness and an immunization.

Vaccine experts are slamming the court’s reasoning for the ruling, which was made in response to J.W., a French citizen, suing Sanofi Pasteur in 2006 after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a year after receiving one of the company’s hepatitis B vaccines. “Using those criteria, you could reasonably make the case that someone should be compensated for developing leukemia after eating a peanut butter sandwich,” Paul Offit, a University of Pennsylvania pediatrician and vaccine researcher, told the Associated Press.

The court said that vaccines could be deemed defective or injurious if there were “specific and consistent evidence” involving a person’s family health history, reported cases of a particular disease following a particular vaccination, and other criteria. Lacking from the court’s reasoning, however, was the need for plaintiffs to present specific scientific evidence of harm caused by particular vaccines.

“It is very concerning that the European Court of Justice has ruled that judges can consider whether a vaccination led to someone developing a medical condition, even if there is no scientific evidence to support this,” Peter Openshaw, president of the British Society for Immunology and a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, told CNN.

Although the ruling handed down this week does not affect J.W.’s case, it serves as a blueprint for other European courts to consider similar cases.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Publishers’ Legal Action Advances Against Sci-Hub
  2. How Microbes May Influence Our Behavior
  3. Metabolomics Data Under Scrutiny
    Daily News Metabolomics Data Under Scrutiny

    Out of 25,000 features originally detected by metabolic profiling of E. coli, fewer than 1,000 represent unique metabolites, a study finds.

  4. Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty
    Daily News Sexual Touch Promotes Early Puberty

    The brains and bodies of young female rats can be accelerated into puberty by the presence of an older male or by stimulation of the genitals.

AAAS