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SIRVA and Your Legal Options 101

Happy New Year to everyone. I know there are a lot of new people who have SIRVA and are trying to figure out the legal system, so I thought I would just give everyone a brief overview of how the legal system works for vaccine injuries in The United States. I’ll also do my best to explain the reasoning behind why things are the way they are.

To start, we have to go back to the 1980’s. There had been some significant lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers from alleged vaccine injuries. The Reagan administration was afraid that vaccine manufacturers might pull out of the vaccine manufacturing market causing a public health crisis. They also wanted to make sure that doctors/nurses/pharmacies would not be hesitant to provide vaccines for fear of liability. They especially wanted to make sure there would always be an ample supply of vaccines for children.

Their solution was to pass The National Childhood Vaccine Act. The Act gives broad legal immunity for vaccine related injuries to vaccine manufacturers as well as vaccine administrators for any injuries that result from a vaccine approved for routine administration to children. So, essentially, you cannot sue a vaccine manufacturer or a doctor/nurse/pharmacist for any injury you sustain from a vaccine that is approved for routine administration to children. However, in exchange for the immunity they receive, the vaccine manufacturers pay a seventy-five cents a dose tax on each dose of vaccine they sell that is approved for children. This money goes into the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund and if a person is injured by one of the covered vaccines, they can file a claim in The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program or VICP. Most vaccines are approved for children and fall under the jurisdiction of the VICP including flu, measles, mumps, rubella, tdap, and tetanus amongst others. If you are injured by a vaccine covered by the VICP your only recourse is to file a VICP claim. The fund currently has over four billion dollars in it and has paid out over four billion dollars since 1986. Typically, people with SIRVA claims receive in the $50,000-$150,000 range. You do not have any other option. You cannot file a lawsuit in state or federal court. It will simply be dismissed.

Now, let’s talk about people who get injured by a vaccine that is not covered by the VICP and is not the Covid-19 vaccine. Typically, these are people who are injured by the shingles or one of the pneumonia vaccines. These vaccines are not approved for children, so they are not a part of the VICP. Accordingly, when these vaccines are sold, the manufacturer does not pay the seventy-five cent tax and therefore they do not receive immunity from lawsuits. So, if you are hurt by one of these vaccines you cannot file a VICP claim. Instead, you have to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court, which will usually be the state court of the state that the injury occurred in. This really complicates things because the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit, the amount of damages you may be entitled to, and what you have to prove to be compensated will all depend on the state law of the state that the injury occurred. Some states have “plaintiff friendly” laws some states have very unfriendly laws. You essentially have a malpractice/product liability case. It is challenging to find attorneys willing to take these cases. They are very risky for attorneys. They are expensive to put on. The amount that can eventually be recovered doesn’t typically warrant the risk involved for the attorneys particularly if they are in a state that is not “plaintiff friendly”.

The final group of people are those injured by the Covid-19 vaccine. Obviously, nobody saw the global pandemic coming and therefore there wasn’t a plan in place for what to do about people who were injured by the vaccine. In order to get a vaccine to market as soon as possible, the government gave broad immunity to everyone involved with the manufacturing, distributing, and administration of the covid vaccine. If you recall, the covid vaccine was not initially approved for children. The government was the only entity buying covid vaccines and the vaccine was not added to the VICP. The manufacturers were given immunity without having to pay the seventy-five cent a dose tax. Accordingly, the covid vaccine is not covered by the VICP but is also not subject to lawsuits like the shingles or pneumonia vaccine. So, unfortunately, as the law stands right now if you are injured by the covid vaccine you are for lack of a better term screwed. You are allowed to file a claim with the Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program of CICP however you have to file your claim within six months and the program was not designed to handle the influx of claims it has been flooded with. The amount you can receive is small and very few people have had success in getting compensated.

There are more questions than answers when it comes to what will eventually happen with people who have injuries from the covid vaccine, and I have other blog posts that you can read to get more information on that issue. Here is the latest one: https://sirvainjury.com/compensation-for-covid-sirva-injuries/

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or text me at 773.412.3320 or e-mail me at dan@sirvainjury.com or follow my on twitter at @sirvainjury

You also might find some of my videos helpful on my YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL8K9skefr6VQ4OpGVt2VeQ

Best,
Dan

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