A lawsuit has been filed in federal court to overturn the alleged unconstitutional Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program (CICP) that is intended to provide relief to individuals injured by the COVID-19 vaccine and provisions of the PREP Act. The Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) has filed the lawsuit with the law firm Siri and Glimstad on behalf of eight individual COVID-19 vaccine-injured plaintiffs and a collective group of more than 36,000 injured members of the plaintiff organization, React19. The CICP was included in the PREP Act that was passed by Congress during the pandemic.

Attorney Aaron Siri made the following statement: “We are confident that any Court that is willing to take a look at the reality of CICP and how it functions (or does not) would find that the program in no way satisfies Americans’ right to due process. CICP is the equivalent of a black hole, and it will be hard for anyone to argue otherwise. CICP is a failure at both the legislative and executive branches of government, but the reality is that this failure is affecting at least tens of thousands of everyday Americans who are currently suffering, unable to afford the medical treatments they need, and who have lost marriages, retirement funds, savings, and more due to the direct and indirect harms from their COVID-19 vaccine injuries.”

The CICP has received more than 12,000 complaints and requests for financial compensation. Only four individuals have received compensation from the program. The lawsuit alleges a wide range of vaccine injuries, including Bell’s palsy, tremors, tachycardia, severe brain injury, memory loss, blood clots in the brain, vertigo, and ruptured inner ears. Several of the plaintiffs cannot work or even walk for more than a few minutes at a time.  

“CICP is akin to a Potemkin village,” the lawsuit complaint states. “It is an elaborate façade designed to hide an undesirable reality. CICP is the epitome of a kangaroo court or a star chamber—a proceeding that ignores recognized standards of law and justice, is grossly unfair, and comes to a predetermined conclusion.”

The lawsuit states that plaintiffs are barred from litigating COVID-19 vaccine injury claims in the court. The Fifth and Seventh Amendments of the Constitution require a “reasonable alternative remedy outside of court.” The plaintiffs request that the court order the federal government to stop enforcing these PREP Act provisions. The complaint also states, “The PREP Act’s immunity protections for vaccine manufacturers cannot stand as there is no constitutional alternative provided to vaccine-injured citizens.”

The CICP data page shows that over 12,100 claims have been made to the program. So far, about 1,160 decisions have been made. Thirty-two of those cases were deemed eligible for compensation, and only four have been compensated so far. The stack of nearly 11,000 cases is still pending review. The total combined compensation that has been paid out to the four individual cases is 8,592.89. Three of the claims were for myocarditis, while the other claim was for anaphylaxis.

An economic report from the Journal of Law and the Biosciences states that the CICP is not transparent, accountable, or cost-effective. Ninety-four percent of the taxpayer funding for the CICP program is spent on administrative costs. The report further states that under historical rates, the total outlay for the COVID injury compensation program should be $317.94 million, which is 72 times the current balance. With such high administrative costs, it is reasonable for claimants to have their cases reviewed in a timely fashion.

The lawsuit states that “CICP claims are consistently lost, ignored, denied, or caught up in the years-long purgatory of government bureaucracy. The compensation, if any, is neither timely nor adequate. Perhaps the decisions are uniform, but only in the sense that claims uniformly get lost in a black hole for years or are uniformly denied.”

The lawsuit names the defendants as the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and John Does 1-3. The plaintiffs request the names of the individuals tasked with “supervising, managing, directing, or operating CICP.” CICP, HHS, and HRSA have not yet disclosed the identities of these individuals.

There are two options for the defendants if ICAN wins this case. They can overhaul the existing CICP program to include the plaintiffs’ requests or remove the barrier that is preventing victims from taking the pharmaceutical manufacturers to court. This will restore the constitutional rights that have been violated with the victim compensation fund portion of the PREP Act.

Here are some of the requests made on the plaintiffs’ behalf.

– A statute of limitations no less than three years from the initial symptoms.

– Decision makers shall be identified along with credentials and confirmation that no conflict

   of interest exists.

– That claimants have a reasonable opportunity to obtain discovery, including from

   manufacturers.

– That claimants are able to question witnesses or review evidence used against their claim

– To provide any documents used to decide injury claims

– To allow claimants to be heard during a hearing and the ability to provide expert witnesses

   to support their claim.

– To allow claimants to present claims for damages in court before a civil jury.

– To provide an appeal process in court.

bill was drafted to move COVID vaccine injury cases to the general vaccine relief fund, but it remains to be considered by the United States Congress. Attorney Aaron Siri stated, “Had Congress allowed COVID-19 vaccine injury claims to be brought in Vaccine Court, the Vaccine Court program would likely have collapsed. That program has existing and serious problems with delays and too few special masters. The number of COVID-19 vaccine injury claims would probably have crushed the program, and Congress may have been aware of this. Vaccine Court would have been an improvement over CICP; however, it would not have been a good solution.”

Stay tuned to The HighWire for continued updates on this case.

Updated

Steven Middendorp

Steven Middendorp is an investigative journalist, musician, and teacher. He has been a freelance writer and journalist for over 20 years. More recently, he has focused on issues dealing with corruption and negligence in the judicial system. He is a homesteading hobby farmer who encourages people to grow their own food, eat locally, and care for the land that provides sustenance to the community.

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