AstraZeneca Pauses Clinical Trial of Coronavirus Vaccine

Recorded on September 16, 2020.

Drug company AstraZeneca paused global trials of its coronavirus vaccine due to an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers. Would that person potentially have a civil case? Attorney Paul Harding of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is on the radio with WIZN examining the issue.

Please take a listen or read the transcription below.

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Joe: 106.7 WIZN. That’s Pearl Jam with “Even Flow.” We heard The Who and “Pinball Wizard” up before that. Joe Vega taking you through your Wednesday Rockin Ride Home. And I’m joined now by Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Paul.

Paul: Hey, Joe, how are you?

Joe: I’m doing well. So I’m calling you in regards to the news, I think it was last week came out that drug maker AstraZeneca announced that it was pausing it’s clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine due to a single event of an unexpected illness. And obviously, that means that they give someone this drug and that person got real sick. So I’m curious, does that person have a civil case?

Paul: Yeah, so keep in mind that the folks they’re giving the drug to are healthy people, they got healthy people in the trials so the concern is, uh-oh, what just happened, right? So liability when you’re doing a trial is non-existent.

You’ve kind of agree to it, unless you can show there was some willful misconduct. Almost like they knew the risk, and they failed to alert you to it, almost an intentional standard that you’re sort of on your own, that there’s not gonna be a liability.

With the COVID-19 trials are the only trials have ever seen where they do have a compensation program for medical expenses and some lost income, but usually, if you agree to do that, I mean, again, lots of people do, you’re sort of on your own.

Joe: Yeah, you know, and I was thinking that, you know what you’re getting into, you know there’s a chance that you’re gonna get sick, but I was also thinking like this person is putting themselves in harm’s way for the greater good. So I’m sure they do get some sort of compensation, right?

Paul: Well, for COVID-19, they do, for the other ones, a very minor way. So since 1986, these vaccine producers have generally been immune from liability and for the standard one that people take all the time if something goes wrong and one of those batches or there’s a bad reaction, there is a vaccine compensation fund which pays for some stuff.

But for trials you really are doing it again, these are unique folks, these are folks that we need out there, who have really put themselves in potential harm’s way for the greater good and as a general proposition. They would have their medical bills paid for and that’s about it.

Joe: All right. Well, there we go. Thank you very much, Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Paul: You’re welcome, Joe. Talk soon.

Joe: Remember you can call Martin, Harding & Mazzotti anytime at 1800LAW1010 or go online to All right. It is time for me to get out of here. Mel Allen is taking over. He’s getting music from Tom Petty, George Thorogood, and Bad Company coming up next.