Georgia high court blocks vaccine lawsuit

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 30, 2011

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The Supreme Court of Georgia on May 16 blocked an Atlanta couple's lawsuit seeking damages against vaccine maker American Home Products Corp., reversing its 2008 decision allowing the case to move forward (link).

The lawsuit was filed by Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari, who claimed that a round of vaccines made by the drugmaker and administered to their young son caused neurological problems. In 2007, the Court of Appeals of Georgia said the family could challenge the vaccine maker because a federal law preventing lawsuits against drugmakers was unclear. The state Supreme Court upheld the appellate decision in 2008.

But in February, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a separate case that federal law preempts all design-defect claims from being pursued against drugmakers. In light of the decision, the Ferrari case was sent back to the state Supreme Court, which reversed its prior decision.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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