The Scope of Exercising Public Authority in the Context of State (Treasury) Liability for Vaccinations Against COVID-19

Zbigniew Banaszczyk
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 3B, 1051-1060, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2557


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility of attributing liability to the State (State Treasury) for damages suffered by individuals who undergo voluntary vaccination against COVID-19, introduced in Poland from December 2020. Design/Methodology/Approach: The author employs a dogmatic method, analyzing the potential liability of the State on the assumption that there is currently no possibility to make a binding determination that the public authority's action in this regard can be judged as unlawful. Findings: With this assumption in mind, the study shows that the Polish Civil Code provisions make State liability possible only if it is established that the actions of public authorities are peremptory in nature. It then becomes possible to apply Article 4172 of the Civil Code, which constitues the liability of public authorities based on the principle of equity for the so-called legal damages. Practical implications: Conclusions can be applied in lawsuits in the event of vaccine-induced damages. Originality/value: The issue of tort liability for non-mandatory vaccinations, but administered by the State, has not been more widely analyzed by the Polish legislation so far.

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