The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week reversed itself on its ruling to maintaining a Pennsylvania state court thimerosal claim in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. The court returned the case for further proceedings in light of Bruesewitz, which is the same as granting summary judgment for the defendant.
For reasons that escape me, the court held that section §22(b)(1) of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 pre-empts all vaccine related design defect claims. I don’t think – and neither do two other justices on the Supreme Court – that it’s a fair reading of the Act. But it is the Supreme Court’s call to make so it is no surprise the Pennsylvania court did what it did.
These are tragic cases but they were tough to prove even before the Supreme Court raised the bar even higher.
Merck was represented in the case by Stephen E. Marshall, who is real good lawyer with Venable in Baltimore.
You can read the court’s terse opinion here.