Science Won’t Save Vaccines From Lawsuits Anymore
This week, the highest court of the European Union handed opponents of basic public health their greatest legal victory in recent memory. At a time when a widening measles outbreaks across Europe and a growing pattern of parents refusing to immunize children, the Court of Justice of the European Union — the rough equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court — decided that courts across the Continent may weigh whether a vaccine caused an illness regardless of whether or not there is any scientific evidence linking the two.
Defining its mission as consumer protection, the CJEU said Europeans ought to be able to sue manufacturers, “excluding any method of proof,” because of the imbalance of power between individual consumers versus large corporations. Europe’s courts, the CJEU ruled, have a duty to “protect consumer health and safety and ensure a fair apportionment between the injured person and the producer of the risks inherent in modern technological production.”
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