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Vaccines in court, what next?

Posted Feb 13 2009 5:24pm

Lisa Jo Rudy has a post on the “what next question”

On beyond the Vaccine Court: next steps in the vaccine-autism legal process

In it, she quotes from Law.com where they also looked into the question. One of the petitioner’s lawyers is indicating that they may appeal.

I seem to recall there being mention of a possible appeal in the Omnibus Docket, but I can’t find it right now. Basically, the next step would likely be to take the U.S. Court of Appeals. One of the petitioner’s attorneys is indicating that this may happen, with the argument

“I think the special masters were imposing a standard and imposing a burden on this evidence in these cases that was higher than what is called for under the statute.”

Seems a stretch to me. When a Special Master makes a point that it was “not even close”, it doesn’t seem as though it was a matter of changing the standard.

There are many more comments in the decisions making it exceedingly clear that the Special Masters didn’t think these cases had even close to the merit required, but I don’t expect that to stop people from appealing.

After that, or for some people even before the appeal, there is the chance that the cases could be taken to civil court. Similar cases have worked in civil court in the recent past—with cases dismissed before trial even begins based on the lack of evidence. Now, civil court judges will be able to refer to the Special Master’s decisions, which are quite detailed and quite clear.

But, in civil court, will they be able to assemble the “Dream Team” of expert witnesses that the DoJ put together for the Omnibus?

They may not have to.

One of the entries in the dockets for the Cedillo, Snyder and Hazlehurst cases was this:

NOTICE, filed by SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN
SERVICES RESPONDENTS CONSENT TO DISCLOSURE OF
EXPERT REPORTS. (Babcock, Alexis) (Entered: 01/30/2009)

Yep, we may get to read the expert reports. It could help slow down any civil cases.

Much more, it could give new families to autism something to read besides the websites of the orgs promoting vaccine causation.

I can’t wait to read those reports.

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