States swine flu inoculation program. She is permanently crippled and confined to a wheelchair.
The defendant, the United States of America, has admitted liability for her injuries. The only issues to be determined in this non-jury case relate to the damages to be awarded.
Robert E. Barnes, Mrs. Barnes' husband, seeks damages for loss of consortium.
The case was brought before the Court pursuant to the National Swine Flu Immunization Program of 1976, 42 U.S.C. § 247b (1976), the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. (1976), and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b) (1976).
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52, we make the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.
Findings of Fact
In this case the defendant has conceded that Mrs. Barnes suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome caused by receiving a swine flu shot and has admitted liability.
The National Swine Flu Immunization Program of 1976, 42 U.S.C. § 247b (1976), was an attempt by the Federal Government to inoculate the entire adult population of the United States against the threat of a swine flu epidemic. It was the largest immunization program in this country's history, and over forty-five million Americans or one-third of the adult population were vaccinated. The initial vaccinations occurred on October 1, 1976; the program was suspended on December 16, 1976.
The program, for which $ 135 million was initially appropriated by Congress, called for using both private and public health care systems to achieve its goal of inoculating the entire adult population by the end of November, 1976. The November deadline was critical since the season of intense flu transmission in the United States is generally considered to be September through March. See The Swine Flu Program: An Unprecedented Venture in Preventive Medicine, Report to Congress by the Comptroller General of the United States, June 27, 1977.
The Swine Flu Act became law on August 12, 1976 and was applicable to all swine flu inoculations administered after September 30, 1976. Important provisions of the Act include the following:
1. The Act creates a cause of action against the United States for any personal injury or wrongful death sustained as a result of the swine flu inoculation, 42 U.S.C. § 247b(k)(2)(A);