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US supreme court ruling today on vax case - Page 2

post #21 of 37
just found this from the NYT: "Justice Elena Kagan was disqualified from the case and was not present at the argument. A 4-to-4 tie would automatically affirm the appeals court decision, meaning that Wyeth would win."

Pirogi said:
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I only wanted to highlight that people often forget, in their haste to crucify the vaccine manufacturers, that our government has given the manufacturers the power and immunity they have.
Yes, thank you for saying this! Its our government's inability to stand up to big business that has led to this horrible coupling of mandates and liability shields.
post #22 of 37
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Originally Posted by 13Sandals View Post

Yes, thank you for saying this! Its our government's inability to stand up to big business that has led to this horrible coupling of mandates and liability shields.
And honestly, if liability were restored to the pharmaceutical companies, it would help regain my trust in our public health system. What incentive do they have to ensure safe products if compensation ultimately rests with taxpayers?
post #23 of 37
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Originally Posted by 13Sandals View Post
just found this from the NYT: "Justice Elena Kagan was disqualified from the case and was not present at the argument. A 4-to-4 tie would automatically affirm the appeals court decision, meaning that Wyeth would win."
I heard on NPR last week that there was a Senate bill drafted to allow a retired justice to sit on the court if a current justice recuses. I guess this hasn't passed yet and won't for this docket.
post #24 of 37
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Originally Posted by 13Sandals View Post
Yes, thank you for saying this! Its our government's inability to stand up to big business that has led to this horrible coupling of mandates and liability shields.
I wouldn't call it inability...I would call it corruption. They CAN stand up to big business, they choose not to because of the benefits (longer terms, money, etc, etc, etc).

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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Yeah, I think the whole idea that he can't hear the case cause' he ever owned pfizer stock is a bit sillly too. I just inherited a bunch of stocks from my grandmother, and I *think*I pfiizer is in there. Just cause' I own stock in them for the moment, doesn't mean I neccarily wish them well. Or ill. I just happen to own a bit of stock.
I don't know about you...but if I have stock in a company, I'm going to want them to make me money. I would not keep stock in a company that was not turning a profit (it would do me no good). So, the fact that he DID own stock in a company should disqualify him. I don't think him selling off all his stock just before a hearing for the industry it will affect should change that. If he bought it...he did so to make money (which is no crime) but I would truly question his motives (as you can see I am, LOL). Who knows...maybe he thinks that they will allow lawsuits and remove the wall...and he sold because he knows the stocks are going to plummet. But, I still think it brings an important issue up.

There are several individuals who sit on the FDA board and "sell" their stocks/interest in a vaccine company so they can vote on the next round of vaxes to hit the general public, but do you really think that they are losing out? I'm sure if someone traced it, they would find that while the stocks were sold (at a profit, most likely) the vaccine company is paying a nice little "nest egg" for their troubles.

No, I have no trust of confidence in the government or any of the agencies.
post #25 of 37
I think the fact that he sold his shares rather than just recuse himself shows that he WANTED to be able to vote on this case, which makes me suspicious. Justice Roberts is extremely pro-corporate and I fear it is a given which way he will rule on this.

For some interesting background reading on the formation of the 1986 law shielding vaccine manufacturers, check out this article:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/10/h...ine-court.html
post #26 of 37
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Originally Posted by heathergirl67 View Post
Why should he be dismissed for ever owning their stock? Should they not hear cases involving the tire company Firestone if they've ever bought Firestone tires? Should they not hear cases involving little girls if they've ever had a daughter? There's a million ways this could be applied. Financial biases aren't the only ones that exist, nor are they always the most powerful.
His insertion after selling his stock is problematic, mostly because now we have 8.... better to have 7. If they split, and his opinion is in Wyeth's favor, it will be forever tainted, regardless of intent.
post #27 of 37
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
And honestly, if liability were restored to the pharmaceutical companies, it would help regain my trust in our public health system. What incentive do they have to ensure safe products if compensation ultimately rests with taxpayers?
I agree with you, but this is a telling POV...

http://www.american.com/archive/2010...s-booster-shot
post #28 of 37
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Originally Posted by an_domhan View Post
His insertion after selling his stock is problematic, mostly because now we have 8.... better to have 7. If they split, and his opinion is in Wyeth's favor, it will be forever tainted, regardless of intent.
?
post #29 of 37
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Originally Posted by caned & able View Post
I agree with you, but this is a telling POV...

http://www.american.com/archive/2010...s-booster-shot
Well, then if the NVIC awards $1M to "verified" vaccine damaged families (which, I have to say is peanuts compared to the cost of living and caring for a severely damaged child for the rest of their life), why aren't the vaccine companies paying for this? Why aren't vaccine companies putting the money in the fund? They are not being made accountable, or financially liable, for the damages. It's a "no fault" judgment, but one that is being awarded in favor of the plaintiff...and yet it is the plaintiff and every other vaxing person's money that pays for the damage. Not one penny is from the vaccine industry.

Would you expect to pay extra on food, just in case there was a huge lot of tainted eggs or meat that killed a "few" kids and severely harmed some others? Would you expect to pay extra for a car, just in case there was a design defect that caused the car to speed up unexpectedly and kill innocent people and maim others? No. Why not? Because the manufacturers are made to take the full brunt of their products shortcomings. People aren't told, "Yeah, because of the tainted meat, you now have to wear a colostomy bag and cannot hold down a job due to muscle weakness and other medical problems. Here's $1M. It's from a fund you paid in to and you cannot sue the meat company. This industry is important and so we do not want them to go out of business."

One of the reasons there are so many vax manufacturers out there is because of the PROFIT with little chance of LOSS going into vaccines. Made a lot that caused infant intestines to block and burst? The worst thing that happened is that the vax will be pulled from the shelves...they will never lose money on the litigation side...they'll just "revamp" the vax and push it through the FDA, again. How much money did Rotoshield make in the 15 months it was on the market? How much money did Rotoshield pay out in damages to affected families? I can answer that one, easily. Zero.

The very point in fact is that this IS about product liability. This is NOT about a "few" children that were hurt. We're talking, potentially, thousands (or more). If it would be better to have the NVIC, that's fine. I'm not against that. What I am against is absolute unaccountability to the vaccine industry. If they are not forced to take responsibility for their crap products (and there ARE a lot of those out there), what incentive do they have to make sure the vaxes are as safe as possible, etc?

If this was about 1 or 2 or a "few" kids harmed, there wouldn't be an issue. But, this is a much larger issue, and deserves a much broader avenue of compensation. If putting the vax industry under is such a concern, then make a tier cap. Because, honestly, $1M is not enough to care for a severely affected child, who needs a lot of medical care, in-home care, and parental care (meaning one parent will have to leave their job to care for the child). $1M will easily be spent in a couple of years' time and then what?

No, make the industry liable for the defects in their products. Remember when Thimerasol was supposed to be pulled from the vaxes? Yeah, they didn't make more with Thimerasol, but they were not required to pull the old lots with Thimerasol...that wouldn't be cost effective. Greed. Pure and simple. Greed.

You always hold a manufacturer liable for their products. If the concern is so great that holding them financially liable is going to put a $39 billion/year industry out of business...then maybe it's really is time to sit down and really consider the "safety" of the product/industry they are trying to protect.
post #30 of 37
Excellent post, NaturalBirthGoddess. Outstanding points made.
post #31 of 37
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Originally Posted by heathergirl67 View Post
?
from the post above #28 where my use of the word insertion is bolded...

Before recanting his recusal, we had 7 Justices, which would have ensured precedent (good, bad and ugly - let the chips fall where they may)... now? We have 8 (making it more challenging for BOTH sides), and all it ensures, is that if his opinion favors Wyeth it will stink forever... because you will never be able to convince a growing population of vaccine critics already skeptical of the role of conflicts of interest in the vaccine program that the maneuver was agenda-free.
post #32 of 37
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Originally Posted by an_domhan View Post
from the post above #28 where my use of the word insertion is bolded...

Before recanting his recusal, we had 7 Justices, which would have ensured precedent (good, bad and ugly - let the chips fall where they may)... now? We have 8 (making it more challenging for BOTH sides), and all it ensures, is that if his opinion favors Wyeth it will stink forever... because you will never be able to convince a growing population of vaccine critics already skeptical of the role of conflicts of interest in the vaccine program that the maneuver was agenda-free.
Agreed! But, he also sold off his stock because he wants to hear another case involving Wyeth/Pfizer. It's very concerning to say the least. I mean, if he finds against them, can't say much...but, you're right...if he finds for them, it will just increase the distrust many already have in the justice system and the impartiality of the Supreme Court. I hope that it turns out well for all...but, have a feeling that it may not (well, except for Wyeth/Pfizer and the other vax companies).
post #33 of 37
NBG - I love the analogy to the tainted meat and protecting the meat industry because its too important an industry to go under...you could even add to that.....when people start walking around with colostomy bags, muscle weakness etc...image you can't opt out of eating meat...that to enter school you must prove via blood test that you have ingested meat in the last year...mandates plus liability protection.

thanks for the great post!
post #34 of 37
I'm really new to this topic (just started researching this stuff a year ago). But a few things were brought up that I found interesting.

First: As far as judges being biased by owning stock, I trust that they are balanced and wise. I think the stock was only sold to eliminate the perception of bias. I'm reading "Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View" by Stephen Breyer. It's an excellent book about why our system works. And his description of behind the scenes debate really renewed my faith in out democracy. My grandfather was a judge (nominated to the CT supreme court before he died). He was one of the most level-headed, reasonable people I've ever known. I would trust him to make decisions and make sure his personal biases didn't influence his decision.

Second: I own stock in Pfizer (gift from aforementioned gpa) and hold mutual funds that own stock in several pharma companies. Also, my husband supports us (I'm a SAHM) by working in the pre-drug approval side of the
pharmaceutical industry. However, I'm very suspicious of most forms of modern allopathic medicine. We're a homebirthing, delayed/selective vaxing, homeopathic family. When I talk about the evils of the pharma industry, my dh likes to tease me about the source of our livelihood.

I guess my point is that people and situations are more complex. It's not a black and white, good vs. evil situation. (ie. The justices who vote how we want- good, justices who don't- bad).
post #35 of 37
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Originally Posted by Geigerin View Post
First: As far as judges being biased by owning stock, I trust that they are balanced and wise. I think the stock was only sold to eliminate the perception of bias.
I like to trust in that as well. But removing the perception of bias, and actually removing it are not the same. There is no way to know, which is why recusal is the best course. This is an issue that is very black and white, IMO.

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Second: I own stock in Pfizer (gift from aforementioned gpa) and hold mutual funds that own stock in several pharma companies. Also, my husband supports us (I'm a SAHM) by working in the pre-drug approval side of the pharmaceutical industry.
But you are not a Supreme Court Justice about to take part in the first case of this design and magnitude.

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I guess my point is that people and situations are more complex. It's not a black and white, good vs. evil situation. (ie. The justices who vote how we want- good, justices who don't- bad).
The complexity (of this issue) arises out of the fact that he only decided to participate after Justice Kagan stated she would recuse as well. Why? That left the court in a far better situation to truly hear the merits of this case and definitively rule in one direction or another. A 4-4 split goes to Wyeth leaving the 3rd Circuit Ruling in place. From a legal standpoint, this is highly strategic. I challenge anyone in the legal industry to claim otherwise, if they do, they are lying.

The transcript has Roberts on record saying, "It doesn't take too many $60 million verdicts to discourage the manufacture of vaccines." I think it's pretty clear where his bias lies, stock ownership aside.
post #36 of 37
I hear ya. I'd hate to think a decision as big as this would be influenced by personal prejudice. I really think the way the vaccine court is set up really doesn't work.

Ultimately, I'll hope that personal views don't cloud legal decisions. Their job is to review the law and determine if it's constitutional, not whether companies could go out of business. I'll be very curious to hear what happens. I'm so sorry for that family and can't believe they're up against big pharma, the chamber of commerce, and the aap. Talk about David vs. Goliath. :/
post #37 of 37
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Originally Posted by an_domhan View Post
The transcript has Roberts on record saying, "It doesn't take too many $60 million verdicts to discourage the manufacture of vaccines." I think it's pretty clear where his bias lies, stock ownership aside.
This is what bothers me the most. It doesn't take that many verdicts to discourage the manufacture of vaccines. But, how many will it take to encourage the vax industry to strive for safer vaccines; for tests that will show which vax a child can handle? This doesn't have to be the end of vaccines. But, it should be the end of the green curtain shielding the industry.

If they rule for the vax industry, it'll just cement my views even further that I will never, ever have my kids vaxed. No way. No other industry in the United States is given the free pass that the vax industry is. None. No other industry is protected from monetary loss like the vax industry is. And, no other industry is as unregulated as the vax industry (well, except for banking...but we've seen how that fared). Where there is insane amounts of money to be made, there will be a need for strict, unbiased, regulation.

As I said before...if everyone is so worried about putting the vax manufacturers out of business...then it's time to really look into the safety of the products they are releasing to the market. I would also like to add...the CDC and the FDA should be overhauled and replaced with new people. Want a job at the CDC or the FDA? You are forbidden to hold any stocks in the vaccine industry, you are forbidden to accept anything, at all, from any vaccine company and if you are caught doing either, you will serve time in prison.

Ok, so wishful thinking, but still.
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