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From the U.S. House of Representatives Downloadable U.S. Code
[uscode.house.gov]
[Laws in effect as of January 5, 1999]

[CITE: 42USC300aa-31]

 
TITLE 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
    CHAPTER 6A - PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
    SUBCHAPTER XIX - VACCINES
    Part 2 - National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
    subpart d - general provisions
 
-HEAD-
    Sec. 300aa-31. Citizen's actions
 
-STATUTE-
    (a) General rule
      Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any person
    may commence in a district court of the United States a civil
    action on such person's own behalf against the Secretary where
    there is alleged a failure of the Secretary to perform any act or
    duty under this part.
    (b) Notice
      No action may be commenced under subsection (a) of this section
    before the date which is 60 days after the person bringing the
    action has given written notice of intent to commence such action
    to the Secretary.
    (c) Costs of litigation
      The court, in issuing any final order in any action under this
    section, may award costs of litigation (including reasonable
    attorney and expert witness fees) to any plaintiff who
    substantially prevails on one or more significant issues in the
    action.
 
-SOURCE-
    (July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXI, Sec. 2131, as added Pub. L.
    99-660, title III, Sec. 311(a), Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3778;
    amended Pub. L. 100-203, title IV, Sec. 4305, Dec. 22, 1987, 101
    Stat. 1330-224.)
 
-MISC1-
                                 AMENDMENTS
      1987 - Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100-203, which directed that subsec.
    (c) be amended by substituting ''to any plaintiff who substantially
    prevails on one or more significant issues in the action'' for ''to
    any party, whenever the court determines that such award is
    appropriate'', was executed by making the substitution for ''to any
    party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate'',
    to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
                               EFFECTIVE DATE
      Subpart effective Dec. 22, 1987, see section 323 of Pub. L.
    99-660, set out as a note under section 300aa-1 of this title.


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