Michael Bertin Discusses COVID-19 Vaccines in Child Custody Context in The Legal Intelligencer
In the article, titled “Court Order for Child to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination Affirmed,” published in The Legal Intelligencer on October 17, 2022, partner and co-chair of the family law group, Michael Bertin, analyzes the first reported appellate case addressing the COVID-19 vaccine in the child custody context.
in the recent case LLB v. TRB, ___ A.3d ___, 2022 Pa. Super. 161 (September 21, 2022), the parties had shared legal custody of their daughter. The mother sought to have the child receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the father objected thereto. The mother filed a petition for special relief requesting permission for the child to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The decision of whether to allow a child to receive any vaccination is a legal custody decision. When the parties reach an impasse regarding a legal custody decision, the trial court is the tie breaker. In this case, the trial court granted the mother’s requested relief and the PA Superior Court affirmed it.
LLB v. TRB is extremely important for both the family law practitioner and the bench, as it is the first reported case squarely on point with the issue of children receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. This case, emphasizes the importance of developing as complete of a record as possible, including expert testimony and testimony from the child’s pediatrician. In the LLB case, because the child was in good health with no medical conditions that would make the COVID-19 vaccination and boosters contra-indicated, which was supported by both the expert and the pediatrician, coupled with the general recommendations of the AAP and CDC, the trial court’s decision was consistent therewith and not deemed an abuse of discretion.
Read the full article here.