A case expected to be heard Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for those who believe there is a link between vaccines and autism.

The case involves 18-year-old Hannah Bruesewitz who experienced seizures and developmental delay after receiving a vaccine for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus as a baby. Though she does not have autism, the case is being closely watched by those who wish to bring claims against vaccine makers over autism concerns.

The reason: a 1986 law made it difficult to sue a vaccine maker. Instead, those who believe they’ve suffered ill effects from a vaccine must go before a so-called “vaccine court.” But in recent years, the court has widely rejected claims related to autism, much as scientific research has also debunked such a link.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Now, the Bruesewitz case calls into question whether the law was intended to prevent litigation against drug makers in cases where a design defect is alleged.