05282017Headline:

Central Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

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David Carney
David Carney
Attorney • (215) 735-1130

Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: No Tolling Statute for Minors?

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Most jurisdictions retain a statute for minors that would toll the statute of limitations until they reach the age of majority, generally. While the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was established to provide a remedial forum to compensate those injured from childhood vaccines while also protecting the vaccine manufacturers, no such statute was ever enacted.

Currently, the Vaccine Program provides for a three year statute of limitations for all vaccine cases, unless the petitioner died as a result of the vaccine, then the statute of limitations is two years from date of death. It is unclear why there is no tolling statute for minors, especially since most of the vaccines covered by the Vaccine Program are vaccines adminsitered during one’s childhood. Many injuries to children as a result of the vaccine go unnoticed, undiagnosed and untreated for years until parents and pediatricians realize that the vaccine may have contributed or even caused the injury. A tolling statute would protect the minors in these situations and provide them with the forum to seek compensation, as opposed to barring their claims with such a prejudicial statute of limitations requirement.