Cupp’s Article Cited

Rick Cupp

by Justice Breyer in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth

An article written by Rick Cupp, John W. Wade Professor of Law, was cited by Justice Stephen Breyer in his concurring opinion in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, a major vaccine preemption case decided by a 6-2 margin by the Supreme Court on February 22.

Breyer referenced Cupp’s article, Rethinking Conscious Design Liability for Prescription Drugs: The Restatement (Third) Standard Versus a Negligence Approach, 63 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 76 (1994), in ruling that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act of 1986 preempts all design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers under state tort law. The verdict applies to those affected by serious side effects of childhood vaccines seeking compensation from the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or “vaccine court.”

“There are special rules for liability relating to drugs and vaccines,” explains Cupp. “Preemption is one of the most significant issues in products liability litigation as well as in constitutional law, and is a matter of interpreting the constitution in an area that strongly impacts products liability cases.”

A leading scholar in the field of tort law, Cupp has authored more than 20 articles. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Torts and Compensation Systems. Cupp’s scholarly work addressing products liability has been cited more than 300 times by courts and law review articles.

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