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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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HomeCOVID-19US Bill to make covid vaccine makers liable for injuries and deaths

US Bill to make covid vaccine makers liable for injuries and deaths

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A BILL has been introduced in the US which would allow Americans to sue the manufacturers of covid vaccines for vaccine-related adverse events, including deaths, by removing the vaccine makers’ liability shield.

The Let Injured Americans Be Legally Empowered Act, or the LIABLE Act, would ‘allow Americans who took vaccines that were misleadingly promoted and forced on to many Americans via federal mandates to pursue civil litigation for their injuries,’ according to a summary of the Bill publicized by Fox News. ‘These vaccines were given emergency use authorization unilaterally and did not go through the normal FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] approval process,’ the summary stated.

Commenting on the proposed legislation, Children’s Health Defense (CHD) President Mary Holland said: ‘The damages and fatalities caused by the Covid-19 vaccine demand accountability. This legislation represents a critical milestone in rectifying these injustices and paving the way for a more accountable future. This legislation is crucial for holding vaccine manufacturers accountable.’ CHD is among the organizations supporting the legislation.

The Bill was introduced by Representative Chip Roy (Repblican, Texas). According to his office, ‘Covid-19 vaccines are considered “countermeasures” under the Public Readiness and Preparedness (PREP) Act, which broadly shields their manufacturers from civil liability related to losses stemming from the vaccines. Instead, injured Americans must seek relief under the onerous Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) — but only 11 Covid-19-related claims have been paid out of CICP.’

Holland said the CICP is ‘wholly inadequate and inconsistent with constitutional principles in providing just redress.’

The proposed legislation would remove all federal liability protections for the Covid-19 vaccines, preserve the ability of injured Americans to access pre-existing compensation programs, such as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), and would be retroactive, allowing Americans vaccinated and injured before the Bill’s passage to sue.

In a statement, Roy said, ‘The long train of abuses committed by the government and public health establishment in response to Covid-19 will continue to impact the American people for years to come.’

As a result, Roy said he is ‘introducing the LIABLE Act to empower Americans to remove crony federal liability protections for Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers and empower injured Americans. The American people deserve justice for the infringement on their personal medical freedom and those medically harmed deserve restitution.’

React19, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of vaccine injury victims, also welcomed the proposed legislation. Dr. Joel Wallskog, a Wisconsin orthopaedic surgeon who no longer practises due to injuries he sustained from the Moderna vaccine, is co-chair of the organization. He told The Defender: ‘React19 supports the LIABLE Act. The Covid-19 public health emergency ended in 2023. Despite this, pharmaceutical companies, the government, and health care organizations are still protected from all liability through the PREP Act until at least December 31, 2024. This blanket immunity provided by the PREP Act robs the American public injured by the Covid-19 shots of their right to due process and jury trial. We are relegated to CICP, which is an obvious failure.’

According to Fox News, the PREP Act ‘limits liability for the manufacturing, development and distribution of medical countermeasures related to a public health emergency’. Covid-19 vaccines were distributed in the US on this basis.

In turn, the PREP Act created CICP ‘which has a one-year statute of limitations and only provides compensation in the event of death or serious injury’, Fox News reported. As a result, Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers are mostly immune from civil lawsuits, even if those seeking money damages have medical proof of their vaccine-related injuries.

‘Millions of Americans were forced to take a Covid-19 shot out of fear of losing their livelihoods and under false pretences,’ Roy told Fox News on Tuesday, contrasting the 11 claims compensated by CICP with the 700million doses of Covid-19 vaccines which have been administered in the US.

Wallskog said CICP has a 98 per cent denial rate and, as of January 1, has issued a total of about $41,000 for the 11 claims it has compensated — an average of approximately $3,700 per claim.

Ray Flores, senior outside counsel for CHD, is an expert on the PREP Act and CICP. He told The Defender he would be ‘thrilled’ to see PREP Act manufacturer protection removed. ‘Some day, hindsight will show this was absolutely necessary,’ Flores said. He noted that US government guarantees made to vaccine manufacturers early during the pandemic prohibited the government from ‘using or authorizing’ Covid-19 vaccine unless they were ‘protected from liability under a declaration issued under the PREP Act, or a successor Covid-19 PREP Act declaration of equal or greater scope’.

‘If this Bill proceeds, this will be the battleground,’ Flores said.

Big Pharma did not welcome the proposed legislation. In a statement shared with Fox News, Andrew Powaleny, senior director of public affairs for PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), an industry trade group, said: ‘Covid-19 has been a reminder of why we need safe and effective vaccines. All vaccines, including those for Covid-19, are subject to a rigorous safety and efficacy review process and post-market monitoring. By upending the existing liability framework manufacturers rely upon to provide predictable vaccine development, our ability to address future public health threats will be at risk.’

Other experts disagreed. Writing in The Blaze, commentator and author Daniel Horowitz asked, ‘Should a product that is completely funded, marketed, monopolized, and then mandated by government be less liable than Toyota is for its airbags? Ideally, the NCVIA (the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986) and the PREP Act should be repealed entirely.’

Still, he welcomed Roy’s proposed legislation. ‘Giving consumers their day in court will be the perfect way to sort out whether Pfizer’s and Moderna’s products are as safe and effective as they claim,’ he wrote. ‘It’s highly likely that tens of millions of people are currently without recourse for compensation from a product that was fraudulently foisted upon the American people by these companies in collusion with the federal government,’ Horowitz said. ‘Knowing that, Roy’s bill comes as welcome relief.’

According to Fox News, ‘Roy has led the charge against those vaccine mandates, including leading efforts to roll back COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the U.S. military.’

Wallskog said: ‘Americans injured by the Covid-19 shots deserve better. They did what they thought was the right thing for themselves, their families and the nation. Now, they are left abandoned. This legislation gives them a chance at fair and just compensation. The time has come for our nation to recognize these injuries and allow them legal recourse.’

This article appeared in The Defender on March 6, 2024, and is republished by kind permission. 

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Michael Nevradakis
Michael Nevradakis
Michael Nevradakis is a senior reporter for The Defender.

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