Attorney Sylvia Chin-Caplan

Summaries of some of Attorney Chin-Caplan's most notable cases in the Vaccine Program are available by clicking here

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Ms. Chin-Caplan was the lead trial attorney in the Althen case, which set the legal standard by which a claim for vaccine compensation is evaluated in the NVICP.  Ms. Chin-Caplan was also the lead trial attorney for the Rubella II Omnibus Proceeding that preserved the finding that the rubella vaccine can cause chronic arthropathy.  In addition, she prevailed in test cases that evaluated whether the hepatitis B vaccine could contribute to the onset of neuro-demyelination, and ultimately won a ruling that the hepatitis B vaccine can cause rheumatoid arthritis.  Ms. Chin-Caplan served as the lead trial attorney in test cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings.  She also was lead trial attorney in cases involving vaccines and diabetes, vaccines and autoimmune hepatitis, and vaccines and childhood deaths.  More recently, she was senior trial counsel in one of the first human papilloma virus vaccine (HPV) cases granted entitlement in the Vaccine Program.

Prior to practice in the NVICP, Ms. Chin-Caplan had extensive experience in the areas of medical malpractice, toxic tort, and drug liability.  She assisted in the organization and development of medical causation in the toxic tort case that formed the basis for the film A Civil Action.  As a former Assistant General Counsel at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Harvard teaching hospital, she was responsible for risk management, obtaining emergency treatment orders and employment issues.  She has lectured frequently on health care issues before professional groups.

Ms. Chin-Caplan earned her Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, cum laude, from Northeastern University.  While at BC, she interned with the Office of The Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts focusing on health care issues.  She was also an intern with Greater Boston Legal Services’ Chinatown Outreach Program where she provided legal assistance to indigent clients in Boston’s Chinatown.

As a practicing RN, Ms. Chin-Caplan was employed in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as in oncology and intensive care at New England Deaconess Hospital, now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.   

Professionally, Ms. Chin-Caplan is a member of the American Association of Justice, the Federal Claims Bar Association and is the Co-Chair of the Science and Technology Committee for the Vaccine Injured Petitioners’ Bar Association.  She has given presentations to the VIP Bar on the use of Epidemiology in the Vaccine Program as well as the application of the United States Supreme Court’s Daubert decision in the Vaccine Program. In addition, she has lectured to the Middlesex County Bar Association on the Vaccine program.

Ms. Chin-Caplan is an active member of her community and was the Clerk, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, for the Dedham School of Music, a Board Member for the Dedham Cultural Council, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Dedham High School Marching Band.  In addition, she was the past President and Treasurer of the New England Chapter of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys and an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors for The American Association of Nurse Attorneys.

Ms. Chin-Caplan is admitted to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.






Sylvia Chin-Caplan, J.D., R.N., is arguably the most experienced trial attorney in the National Vaccine Compensation Program (“NVICP”).  She has over 30 years of medical-legal experience, 20 of which have been spent representing people injured by rare adverse reactions to vaccinations.  For the past 18 years, she was senior partner at a law firm whose primary focus involved the representation of petitioners who suffered severe injuries from vaccinations.