2020 California Code
Health and Safety Code - HSC
DIVISION 105 - COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
PART 4 - HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)
CHAPTER 13 - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Immunization
(a) There is hereby created the AIDS Vaccine Victims Compensation Fund.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “AIDS vaccine” means a vaccine that (A) has been developed by any manufacturer and (B) is approved by the FDA or the department pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 109875) of Division 104 as a safe and efficacious vaccine for the purpose of immunizing against AIDS.
(2) “Damages for personal injuries” means the direct medical costs for the care and treatment of injuries to any person, including a person entitled to recover damages under Section 377 of the Code of Civil Procedure, proximately caused by an AIDS vaccine, the loss of earnings caused by the injuries, and the amount necessary, but not to exceed five hundred fifty thousand dollars ($550,000), to compensate for noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering caused by the injuries.
(3) “Fund” means the AIDS Vaccine Victims Compensation Fund.
(c) The Department of General Services shall pay from the fund, contingent entirely upon the availability of moneys as provided in subdivision (o), damages for personal injuries caused by an AIDS vaccine that is sold in or delivered in California, and administered or dispersed in California to the injured person except that no payment shall be made for any of the following:
(1) Damages for personal injuries caused by the vaccine to the extent that they are attributable to the comparative negligence of the person making the claim.
(2) Damages for personal injuries in any instance when the manufacturer has been found to be liable for the injuries in a court of law.
(3) Damages for personal injuries due to a vaccination administered during a clinical trial.
(d) An application for payment of damages for personal injuries shall be made on a form prescribed by the Department of General Services within one year of the date that the injury and its cause are discovered. This application may be required to be verified. Upon receipt, the Department of General Services may require the submission of additional information necessary to evaluate the claim.
(e) (1) Within 45 days of the receipt of the application and the submission of any additional information, the Department of General Services shall do either of the following:
(A) Allow the claim in whole or part.
(B) Disallow the claim.
(2) In those instances of unusual hardship to the victim, the board may grant an emergency award to the injured person to cover immediate needs upon agreement by the injured person to repay in the event of a final determination denying the claim.
(3) If the claim is denied in whole or part, the victim may apply within 60 days of denial for a hearing. The hearing shall be held within 60 days of the request for a hearing unless the injured person requests a later hearing.
(f) At the hearing, the injured person may be represented by counsel and may present relevant evidence as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11513 of the Government Code. The Department of General Services may consider additional evidence presented by its staff. If the injured person declines to appear at the hearing, the Department of General Services may act solely upon the application, the staff report, and other evidence that appears on the record.
(g) The Department of General Services may delegate the hearing of applications to hearing examiners.
(h) The decision of the Department of General Services shall be in writing and shall be delivered or mailed to the injured person within 30 days of the hearing. Upon the request by the applicant within 30 days of delivery or mailing, the Department of General Services may reconsider its decision.
(i) Judicial review of a decision shall be under Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and the court shall exercise its independent judgment. A petition for review shall be filed as follows:
(1) If no request for reconsideration is made, within 30 days of personal delivery or mailing of the Department of General Services’ decision on the application.
(2) If a timely request for reconsideration is filed and rejected by the Department of General Services, within 30 days of personal delivery or mailing of the notice of rejection.
(3) If a timely request for reconsideration is filed and granted by the Department of General Services, or reconsideration is ordered by the Department of General Services, within 30 days of personal delivery or mailing of the final decision on the reconsidered application.
(j) The Department of General Services shall adopt regulations to implement this section, including those governing discovery.
(k) The fund is subrogated to any right or claim that any injured person may have who receives compensation pursuant to this section, or any right or claim that the person’s personal representative, legal guardian, estate, or survivor may have, against any third party who is liable for the personal injuries caused by the AIDS vaccine, and the fund shall be entitled to indemnity from that third party. The fund shall also be entitled to a lien on the judgment, award, or settlement in the amount of any payments made to the injured person.
(l) In the event that the injured person, or his or her guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors, or any of them, bring an action for damages against the person or persons liable for the injury or death giving rise to an award by the Department of General Services under this section, notice of institution of legal proceedings and notice of any settlement shall be given to the Department of General Services in Sacramento except in cases where the Department of General Services specifies that notice shall be given to the Attorney General. All notices shall be given by the attorney employed to bring the action for damages or by the injured person, or his or her guardian, personal representative, estate, or survivors, if no attorney is employed.
(m) This section is not intended to affect the right of any individual to pursue claims against the fund and lawsuits against manufacturers concurrently, except that the fund shall be entitled to a lien on the judgment, award, or settlement in the amount of any payments made to the injured party by the fund.
(n) There is hereby created the AIDS Vaccine Injury Compensation Policy Review Task Force consisting of 14 members. The task force shall be composed of 10 members appointed by the Governor, of which two shall be from a list provided by the California Trial Lawyers Association, one from the department, the Director of Finance, one unspecified member, and one attorney with experience and expertise in products liability and negligence defense work, two representing recognized groups that represent victims of vaccine induced injuries or AIDS victims, or both, and two representing manufacturers actively engaged in developing an AIDS vaccine. In addition four Members of the Legislature or their designees shall be appointed to the task force, two of which shall be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and two of which shall be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. The chairperson of the task force shall be appointed by the Governor from the membership of the task force. The task force shall study and make recommendations on the legislative implementation of the fund created by subdivision (a). These recommendations shall at least address the following issues:
(1) The process by which victims are to be compensated through the fund.
(2) The procedures by which the fund will operate and the governance of the fund.
(3) The method by which manufacturers are to pay into the fund and the amount of that payment.
(4) The procedural relationship between a potential victim’s claim through the fund and a court claim made against the manufacturer.
(5) Other issues deemed appropriate by the task force.
The task force shall make its recommendations to the Legislature on or before June 30, 1987.
(o) The fund shall be funded wholly by a surcharge on the sale of an AIDS vaccine, that has been approved by the FDA, or by the department pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 109875) of Division 104, in California in an amount to be determined by the department. The surcharge shall be levied on the sale of each unit of the vaccine sold or delivered, administered, or dispensed in California. The appropriate amount of the surcharge shall be studied by the AIDS Vaccine Injury Compensation Policy Review Task Force, which shall recommend the appropriate amount as part of its report, with the amount of the surcharge not to exceed ten dollars ($10) per unit of vaccine. Expenditures of the task force shall be made at the discretion of the Director of Finance or the director’s designee.
(p) For purposes of this section, claims against the fund are contingent upon the existing resources of the fund as provided in subdivision (o), and in no case shall the state be liable for any claims in excess of the resources in the fund.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 31, Sec. 175. (SB 836) Effective June 27, 2016.)