Gardasil Injections Left Teen With POTS, Autoimmune Disease, Other Painful Injuries: Lawsuit
A California woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she developed severe autoimmune system problems and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) from Gardasil injections, which she received as a teenager for vaccination against HPV.
The complaint (PDF) was filed last month by Catherine Boss in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, presenting claims against Merck & Co, the developer of the widely used HPV vaccine, as the defendant.
Gardasil was first introduced in 2006, as a vaccine for prevention of HPV infections, which can be sexually transmitted and lead to the later development of cervical cancer. Following years of aggressive marketing by the drug maker, the vaccine has been commonly administered to young girls and boys before adolescence and potential sexual activity.
Although the vaccine has been promoted as safe, Merck now faces a growing number of similar Gardasil injection lawsuits alleging that teens and young adults have been left with rare and disabling injuries, such as POTS, which emerged shortly after receiving the injection.
According to the lawsuit, Boss was 16 when she received her first Gardasil injection in December 2016, after her mother saw advertisements indicating Gardasil was safe and helped prevent cervical cancer.
Boss’s health problems began immediately after receiving the first injection. She began experiencing fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, hypotension, abdominal pain and syncope. Since her doctors were unaware that Gardasil may cause these problems, she received two more injections, in February 2017 and in November 2017. After each injection, her symptoms worsened.
“As the months progressed, so did Plaintiff’s injuries. She was seen by multiple physicians and specialists for her complaints which now included: Dizziness, fatigue, lethargy, shakiness, frequent episodes of syncope, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, headaches, migraines, nausea, vomiting, frequent viral and bacterial infections, abdominal pain, neck pain, back pain, pelvic pain, severe dysmenorrhea, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia,” the lawsuit states. “As a result of her post-Gardasil symptoms, Plaintiff was unable to engage in normal activities that a normal young person would enjoy.”
Boss has been diagnosed with POTS, dysautonomia, gastroparesis, migraines, syncope, pain disorder and endometriosis, the lawsuit indicates. She presents claims of negligence, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, breach of warranty, common law fraud and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law.
October 2022 Gardasil Lawsuit Update
The lawsuit filed by Boss will be consolidated with dozens of similar complaints pending in a federal Gardasil MDL (multidistrict litigation), which was established in August 2022. Given common questions of fact and law presented in the claims, all Gardasil injection cases are currently pending before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad in the Western District of North Carolina for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.
An initial Gardasil lawsuit status conference was held on October 11, at which time lawyers met for the first time with Judge Conrad to discuss the organizational structure of the litigation, which is expected to increase in size and scope throughout 2022.
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