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Smith v. HRSA

  • Lawsuit Type: Personal Injury

Explore the case of Smith v. HRSA and its potential implications on the inclusion of COVID-19 vaccines in the VICP.

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal case filed by an individual who claims to have suffered physical, emotional, or psychological harm due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party. These lawsuits typically seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses incurred as a result of the injury. Personal injury cases can arise from various situations, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and workplace accidents, among others.

Unfortunately for the COVID vaccine-injured, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act provides near bulletproof immunity for the vaccine manufactures (and the distributors and administrators, amongst others) – gutting our members’ ability to bring a successful personal injury action against them. Instead of being able to seek redress from the corporations that made billions from the COVID vaccines, the injured are forced to lodge claims with an underfunded, understaffed, and highly inadequate program known as the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). [Other vaccine injury claims from vaccines that are routinely recommended for children or pregnant women are filed in a separate, and also inadequate program, known as the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Manufacturers are also immune from those claims, which are brought against the U.S. government.]

Due to its unrealistic filing deadline, impossible standard of proof, paltry benefits, conflicting interests, and lack of judicial review, the CICP has currently rejected 98% of claims – compensating just twelve individuals nationwide with a combined total payout of $44,000. In contrast, the React19 CAREFUND has contributed over $800,000 directly to the injured.

In response, React19 joined other key plaintiffs in Smith v. HRSA seeking to strike down the PREP Act’s egregious CICP immunity provisions. For legal reasons, React19 was dropped as a plaintiff but the others remained. And soon after in Smith v. USA was filed, React19 co-chair Dr. Joel Wallskog joined three fellow plaintiffs in another challenge to CICP, including a young boy diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia purpura; a mother who developed vaccine-induced dysautonomia; and a respected pediatric neurologist from Harvard Medical School. The second CICP case brings the same and additional claims as those raised in the preceding Smith case.

Both Smith v. HRSA and Smith v. USA specifically allege that the PREP Act violates the COVID vaccine-injured’s due process rights under the Fifth Amendment. The second case also alleges a violation of the right to a jury trial under the Seventh Amendment a violation of the Takings Clause under the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs in these cases are not the only people these rulings will impact. They are what is called “facial” challenges and, if successful, will impact thousands of Americans injured by the COVID vaccines, and by extension the plaintiffs hold the important responsibility of representing our entire community. Should the cases succeed, they would establish precedent for all members of the COVID vaccine-injury community. Our members might then be eligible to either directly sue the pharmaceutical companies, or the government would be forced to provide a “reasonable alternative remedy” through comprehensive vaccine injury compensation programs.

The cases are currently pending in the United States District Courts of the Western District of Louisiana and the Northern District of Texas, respectively. In both, the injured are fortunate to be represented by Siri & Glimstad LLP, with the support of Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN). Without this esteemed legal counsel, these unprecedented cases would not be moving forward.