Gardasil Fibromyalgia Lawsuit Filed After HPV Vaccine Blamed for Two Months of Body Hives

Lawsuit indicates Gardasil caused fibromyalgia for a young Florida woman, who will now suffer pain and hives for the rest of her life due to the side effects of the HPV vaccine.

At only 20 years old, Harmony L. Calhoun, of Florida, says she suffered through two months of body hives and now deals with permanent nerve pain, according to a product liability lawsuit filed against Merck, which indicates that side effects of the Gardasil HPV vaccine caused her to develop fibromyalgia.

The complaint (PDF) was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on December 20, joining more than 130 similar Gardasil lawsuits now being pursued against Merck for failing to warn about risks associated with the HPV vaccine, mostly involving young women now left with life-long complications following Gardasil injection.

Gardasil was introduced by Merck in 2006, and has been widely used to protect against HPV infections, which can be sexually transmitted and lead to the later development of cervical cancer. The Gardasil injection has been promoted for use among both young girls and boys before sexual activity, and is now recommended by most medical providers, since they believed it carries few, if any, serious side effects.

However, Calhoun and other plaintiffs who are now pursuing Gardasil lawsuits against Merck indicate that consumers have not been adequately warned about the risk of permanent and life-changing autoimmune side effects from the HPV vaccination.

Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuit

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Side effects of the Gardasil HPV vaccine have been linked to reports of serious and debilitating autoimmune injuries. Lawyers review cases nationwide.

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Calhoun indicates she received her first Gardasil injection when she was 20 years old, as a means of protecting herself against cervical cancer. Both she and her doctor believed the injections were safe and effective due to Merck’s marketing efforts, she states in the lawsuit.

However, following her injection, Calhoun began experiencing neck pain and small bumps on her thighs, which worsened and turned into full body hives and welts. She suffered this condition for two months, and hives have appeared intermittently on her body ever since, according to the complaint. However, this was only the start of Calhoun’s health problems.

She also experienced angioedema, foot swelling, joint pain, finger pain, fatigue, and slurred speech. Calhoun indicates getting out of bed became difficult and standing was painful. This has left her unable to participate in many activities normal for young people to enjoy, according to the lawsuit.

“After receiving the Gardasil vaccine, Plaintiff has been unable to enjoy hobbies such as rock climbing and photography. Prior to receiving the Gardasil vaccine, Plaintiff was a model, which required her to travel the world, but due to her post-Gardasil symptoms, Plaintiff has been unable to travel, and her career has been adversely affected,” the lawsuit states. “Based upon her chronic and severe post-Gardasil symptoms, Plaintiff has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.”

While not yet fully understood, fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes pain, tenderness and fatigue, and leaves patients with a heightened sensitivity to pain. It also alters moods, memory and sleeping habits. There is no known cure.

The lawsuit indicates Merck purposefully misled the medical community and patients about the Gardasil fibromyalgia risks, providing information that suggested the HPV vaccine is safe and causes few serious side effects.

Calhoun presents claims of strict liability, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, breach of express warranty, common law fraud and violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

January 2024 Gardasil Lawsuit Update

The Gardasil fibromyalgia lawsuit will be consolidated with similar complaints brought throughout the federal court system over side effects linked to the HPV vaccine, which have been centralized as part of a Gardasil MDL (multidistrict litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to a docket report (PDF) issued on December 15, there are currently at least 132 complaints involving Gardasil autoimmune issues pending in the federal court system. There are also a substantial number of additional claims pending in the U.S. Vaccine Court, where families must initially bring a petition seeking compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, before they are able to bring a civil lawsuit if the claim is not resolved within eight months.

Given common questions of fact and law presented in the Gardasil injection lawsuits, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad is presiding over coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings, which is expected to involve a series of early bellwether trials designed to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

While the parties work to prepare a group of Gardasil cases for trial, injury lawyers are continuing to investigate and file new lawsuits for individuals who experienced a variety of complications from the HPV vaccine, including:

  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Premature Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
  • Irregular Heartbeat/Tachycardia
  • Lupus
  • Neurologic Disorder
  • Brain Fog or Chronic Inability to Concentrate
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Pain
  • Severe Headaches
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve Damage
  • Menstrual Disorders/Problems
  • Gastrointestinal Issues (food intolerances, nausea, vomiting)

Following coordinated discovery and any bellwether trials in the federal MDL, if the parties fail to reach Gardasil settlements or another resolution for the litigation, Judge Conrad may later establish a process to begin remanding each individual claim back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates in the future.


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