As COVID Vaccine Injury Lawsuits Increase, Liability Questions Arise

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has posted an employment ad seeking eight attorneys to work in its Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP). The LinkedIn ad appeared soon after the filing of a lawsuit in Louisiana last month by six plaintiffs who allege injuries from the COVID-19 vaccine against the federal government. These individuals are seeking to overturn the immunity that the feds granted big pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna during the rapid-fire development of the COVID-19 vaccine amidst the pandemic.

CICP provides compensation for serious injuries or death resulting from government COVID-19 vaccine mandates, either in the administration or use of certain countermeasures involving the vaccines. Available compensation under the CICP may include unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, and survivor death benefits. Previously, the federal government used the CICP, which it created in 2005, to handle claims stemming from anthrax exposure and the Ebola virus.

CICP has received nearly 13,000 claims since January 31, 2020. Unidentified officials adjudicate CICP claims without holding hearings, which, thus far, has resulted in only 32 approved claims, with six people receiving compensation of approximately $2,148 each. As of October 2023, the CICP has denied another 1,219 claims; a backlog of about 4,000 claims remains.

Lawyers involved in these cases hope that Congress will take measures to reform how vaccine injury cases are handled and adjudicated. They also seek pharmaceutical companies to face liability for injuries to those who have received the vaccines, not just the federal government.

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