Recently, I read an article about the death of a 4 month old from northern Idaho. The 4 month old had what is commonly referred to as routine vaccinations at his 4 month check-up and within a few days died with the autopsy report showing the cause of death being SIDS. The author was outraged because the maximum award for the death caused by a vaccine through the National Vaccine Injury Program is $250,000. The author was outraged that there would be no admission of guilt, apology or any recognition for the death of the child other than a check for $250,000. The article raised many concerns.
First, there is no amount of money that can adequately compensate a family for the loss of a child. Unfortunately, the Vaccine Injury Program as well as other states put caps on damages that people can receive for a variety of causes of action. Many states have caps on how much somebody can recover for non-economic as well as economic damages as a result of the death of another whether it be by a negligent driver or a negligent doctor. These are laws set by legislators that we elect. These caps have been set under the premise that if there were no caps set there would be run-away jury awards, (excessive verdicts) and it would force doctors out of practice and healthcare costs would skyrocket, corporations would go broke and insurance companies would have to raise premiums to unaffordable amounts. I will not bore you with the details but there have been studies and surveys done over the course of the last decade which show all of those claims to be false.
The writer is correct that, if a person dies from a vaccine, the maximum you can recover is $250,000. What the article does not go on to clarify is that the family could decide to “opt out” of the Vaccine Injury Program at the appropriate time and proceed with claims against the drug manufacturers as well as perhaps the doctor initiating the vaccines. Unfortunately, those cases are extremely difficult and expensive to prosecute and, again, your recourse is money damages. There are laws in place to protect drug companies and doctors that vary by state and by the facts of each case. You generally will not get an apology from a doctor nor will you get an apology from the drug manufacturer.
On the other hand, doctors are doing their job. They are directed, many times by law, to vaccine children. It is a parent’s responsibility to do the best they can to obtain the necessary information about all of the vaccines and make an informed decision on whether their child should be vaccinated. In addition, in this particular case the 4 month old was vaccinated with a multitude of vaccines. Maybe it was because of the distance the people lived from the healthcare provider or maybe there are other reasons; however, although there are no statistics to prove this point, it has been recommended to limit how many vaccines your child gets at a given time. Think about it, these vaccines contain viruses which generally, when contracted, cause illness. Take a young baby and consider the impact on that baby by injecting it with multiple viruses.
Also, there are times when your child should not receive a vaccine and that should also be discussed with the healthcare provider. A child with a runny nose, sniffles, cough, ear infection or watery eyes may not be in the best health to receive a vaccine, even one vaccine. I am not a doctor and this is not a medical opinion; however, I have been representing injured victims as well as families of children who have suffered severe adverse reactions to vaccines since shortly after the Vaccine Injury Program started in 1986. I have represented the families of children who have died from vaccinations as well as those who have been permanently disabled because of vaccines. I agree that $250,000 is not sufficient to compensate a family for the life and death of a child. It is also not enough money to compensate a spouse or a child of an adult who dies from an adverse reaction to a vaccine as it is the same whether it be the death of a child or an adult. There have been talks about increasing the wrongful death award but to date it remains at $250,000.
If you or a loved one have suffered from any adverse reactions following a vaccine please contact me to discuss your rights. The Vaccine Injury Program pays for all of your legal expenses and costs associated with pursuing a claim so there is no cost to you to proceed with the claim and I never charge for a consultation.
If you have any questions, concerns or just want to discuss any potential claim that you or a loved one have whether an adult or child please contact me at our Chicago office (312) 988-4830, New York City office (212) 521-4192, Wisconsin offices at either (608) 356-3961 or (608) 824-9540, anywhere in the United States call our toll free number (866) 455-2993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, distance is no factor as I will come to you if necessary at no cost to you!