Las Vegas Sun

June 2, 2015

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Court upholds ruling by Gov. Brian Sandoval when he was a judge

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

CARSON CITY — A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling by former District Court Judge and now Gov. Brian Sandoval in favor of a drug company in a wrongful death suit involving a 1-year-old Las Vegas boy.

Sandoval granted a pretrial summary judgment in favor of Merck & Co., which was sued by Eric and Shawn Holmes.

The Holmes’ son Jacob died about six months after receiving a vaccine produced and distributed by the company to guard against mumps, measles and rubella. The vaccine was approved in 1978 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The parents sued in state District Court before the case was transferred to federal court.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an opinion authored by Judge Sidney Thomas, said Merck “produced evidence that it had complied with all regulatory requirements” related to the vaccine.

In upholding Sandoval’s decision, Thomas said the parents “failed to submit evidence sufficient to show that the vaccine had not been properly prepared or that it had not been accompanied by proper directions and warnings.”

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