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Law professor's article published in Harvard journal

Professor Betsy Grey
July 25, 2011

The Harvard Journal on Legislation has published in its Summer 2011 issue an article by professor Betsy Grey titled, “The Plague of Causation in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.”

Grey writes that, over the past 20 years, courts in the toxic tort setting increasingly have demanded stronger, scientifically tested evidence in the area of proving causation. At the same time, she notes, a closely related debate is raging about separating, under the Act’s compensation program, cause from coincidence for injuries that may be the result of vaccinations.

In its initial legislation, Congress gave little direction regarding the level of causation required and assumed better science would be developed on vaccine causation. That hasn’t happened as quickly as anticipated, however, and the federal court that oversees the program gradually has relaxed the standard for causal proof, according to Grey.

Her article argues that “the Federal Circuit, while implementing a program with different policy goals and not constrained by toxic tort law, has gone too far under the Act as written, but that the logic of its decisions should cause Congress to amend the Act to conform to the more relaxed causation standard.”

To read the full article, click here.

Grey publishes and teaches on issues of tort law, products liability and mass tort litigation, as well as neuroscience and law, and has presented to judicial conferences and other professional groups on these issues. Her recent scholarly work has focused on the study of no-fault compensation systems in the United States, as well as the impact of advancements in neuroscience on tort law. Grey also has taught products liability as part of a common law program to law students in France.