Chief Justice John Roberts cashes in Pfizer stocks to participate in landmark vaccine case

It has been revealed that Chief Justice John Roberts Jr has recently sold his stock holdings in Pfizer Inc. He did this to enable him to participate in two up and coming vaccine cases, one of which is to be held on Tuesday 12th October 2010.

This landmark case could change history on how future vaccine court cases are viewed. This is because the outcome of this case will render important implications as to whether anyone suffering a vaccine injury can ever – under any circumstances – sue a pharmaceutical company.

Originally, in March when the court announced it would hear the case, Justice Roberts was NOT participating. However, a recent docket sent in this month now indicates that he is.

The case on Tuesday centers around a Pennsylvania lawsuit  in which parents alleged that their 6 month old baby daughter developed a seizure disorder after receiving a vaccine manufactured by Wyeth, which is now a unit of Pfizer.

In March, an article appeared in the Age of Autism ‘The Supreme Court Takes Bruesewitz v. Wyeth: Is There Justice for Vaccine Injury Victims?’ (…)

The article by Mary Holland Esq. states the following:

“On March 8, the Supreme Court voted to hear Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, an appeal from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Supreme Court will decide whether a vaccine-injured child has the right to pursue a traditional “design defect” claim under state tort law when “Vaccine Court” refuses compensation.  The Supreme Court must interpret the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and decide whether Congress intended to “preempt” all industry tort liability when it wrote, “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable…if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.

Did Congress intend to extinguish the right to sue for all defective vaccine designs in civil court?

While the statutory language is awkward and thus somewhat opaque, Congress’s legislative intent was not – the statute as a whole shows clearly that Congress intended to leave civil courthouse doors open for petitioners who elect to leave Vaccine Court to sue for design defects.  Lower courts, nonetheless, have decided the question both ways.  So the Supreme Court must step in and resolve the conflict.  The stakes are high: whether a person injured by a vaccine can challenge the safety of the design in any court in the United States.

A three judge panel of the Third Circuit unanimously decided in March 2009 that petitioner Hannah Bruesewitz did not have the right to sue vaccine manufacturer Wyeth, Inc. to assert that its vaccine design was unsafe.  [See Bruesewitz-Decision]  Hannah was born in October, 1991, and received her third DPT shot on schedule on April 1, 1992.  Shortly thereafter she developed “residual seizure disorder,” recognized as a Table Injury at the time, meaning that causation was presumed.  “Residual seizure disorder” was deleted from the Table just one month before she filed her case.  Finally, on December 20, 2002, more than ten years later, Vaccine Court categorically rejected her claim.  This hardly complies with Congress’ promise in the 1986 NCVIA that awards be “made to vaccine-injured persons quickly, easily, and with certainty and generosity.”  The Bruesewitz family argues that the safer acellular DTaP vaccine was long available by the time Hannah received the DPT and suffered seizures, and that her vaccine injury was avoidable had the manufacturer used this demonstrably safer vaccine design.”

However, it was discovered yesterday that on September 28th 2010, an article  appeared in The Wall Street Journal entitled ‘Chief Justice Roberts Sells Pfizer Shares’ (…) which said:

When the court announced in March that it would hear the case, it indicated that Justice Roberts was not participating. However, a recent docket entry this month no longer indicates that Justice Roberts is sitting out. The Sept. 3 entry notes only that Justice Kagan is recused.”

Now here comes the interesting bit which really shows up the justice system for what it is,

“Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. recently sold his stock holdings in Pfizer Inc., which clears him to participate in two cases involving the drug maker that are pending on the Supreme Court’s docket.

Justice Roberts, through a court spokeswoman, confirmed that he sold his Pfizer holdings on Aug. 31.

Justice Roberts’s participation means the court will not be as short-handed in the coming Pfizer cases, in which the court’s newest justice, Elena Kagan, is recused. Justice Kagan is sitting out several cases this term because she was involved in them previously when she served as U.S. solicitor general.

The chief justice’s involvement, however, means eight justices will hear the two cases, raising the possibility that one or both could result in a 4-4 tie.”

Not only this but the Wall Street Journal says the following, “Federal judges are required to recuse themselves in cases in which they hold a personal financial interest.” Do you remember what the article had said earlier about the lovely Justice Kagan ?

Elena Kagan, is recused. Justice Kagan is sitting out several cases this term because she was involved in them previously when she served as U.S. solicitor general.”

This reveals that the judges we rely on as parents in courts ARE PROFITEERING FROM BIG PHARMA!  Is this an unbiased justice system??? I don’t think so! I tell you what I think – I think this all stinks! This is basically saying to parents, “if your children are unfortunate enough to suffer a vaccine injury, don’t expect us to help because we are backing the pharmaceutical industry.”

In my opinion, parents face a system that is corrupt from the onset. I believe parents of a vaccine injured child face the following challenges:

1. A corrupt medical profession funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

2. A corrupt child protection system, that works with the corrupt medical profession, funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

3. A corrupt justice system who profit from the pharmaceutical industry. And, the biggest evil of them all…

4. A corrupt government who backs the whole damn lot of them.

It is a no win situation. Why should parents of vaccine-injured children have to negotiate with a corrupt system that will not help them find the justice they deserve? This situation has got to change and it has to change now.

*Note: I would like to thank Leslie Botha from SANE for bringing this to my attention.

About the author

Christina England, BA Hons