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Allison v. Merck and Company

878 P.2d 948 (1994)

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Allison v. Merck and Company

Nevada Supreme Court

878 P.2d 948 (1994)

Facts

Thomas Allison (plaintiff), the son of Jo Ann Allison (plaintiff), received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine when he was 17 months old. Merck pharmaceutical company (Merck) (defendant) manufactured the vaccine, and it was administered by the Clark County Health District (the health district) (defendant). The Allisons claimed that the vaccine caused Thomas to contract encephalitis and to suffer from consequent blindness, deafness, mental retardation, and spastic contractures. The Allisons sued Merck and the health district. Thomas claimed they were liable under strict products liability, and Ms. Allison claimed they were liable for failure to warn. Merck claimed comment k of § 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts freed it from strict manufacturer’s liability. Merck also argued that holding it liable would deter necessary and beneficial research and development of new drugs. The trial court granted summary judgment for Merck and the health district. The Allisons appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Springer, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Young, J.)

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