The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has established various statute of limitations requirements for various instances. For vaccine injuries not resulting in death, the petition must be filed within 36 months of the manifestation of the first symptom. For vaccine injuries resulting in death, the petition must be filed within 24 months of the date of death and within 48 months after the onset of the vaccine-related injury from which the death occurred. (See http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/VICP.pdf).
While most jurisdictions have differing statute of limitations requirements depending on the type of action, the vaccine program is differentiating between the outcomes of such injuries. Why would a vaccine-related death case need to be filed a year before a non-death case? The reasoning is simply not there. Most physicians are unaware of the effect that vaccines have on the body and it is often extremely difficult for the family members of the deceased to link the vaccine to the death. Setting a requirement of two years from the date of death puts an enormous, and extremely unfair, burden on petitioners’ families to investigate the death and link it to the vaccine.
David Carney joined Philadelphia, PA firm, Anapol, Schwartz, Weiss, Cohan, Feldman & Smalley, P.C. in September 2010. He focuses his practice in medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, dram shop, vaccine injury compensation, mass torts, class actions, asbestos and mesothelioma and other personal injury matters.