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The Supreme Court will decide whether drug makers can be sued by parents who claim their children suffered serious health problems from vaccines.

The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from parents in Pittsburgh who want to sue Wyeth over the serious side effects their daughter, six months old at the time, allegedly suffered as a result of the company's diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled against Robalee and Russell Bruesewitz, saying a 1986 federal law bars their claims.

That law set up a special vaccine court to handle disputes as part of its aim of insuring a stable vaccine supply by shielding companies from most lawsuits.

Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, Inc., prevailed at the appeals court but also joined in asking the court to hear the case, saying it presents an important and recurring legal issue that should be resolved.

The Obama administration joined the parties in calling for high court review, although the government takes the side of the manufacturers.


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