Gardasil Vaccine Lawyers To Meet With Court For Initial Status Conference Oct. 11
The U.S. District Judge recently appointed to preside over all federal Gardasil vaccine lawsuits will meet with lawyers involved in the litigation for the first time next month, for an initial status conference to discuss and organize the coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Merck currently faces dozens of complaints throughout the federal court system over it’s popular HPV vaccine, each involving concerning allegations that the drug maker failed to disclose reported side effects of Gardasil, which have left some teens and young adults with severe autoimmune disorders, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), neurological problems and other complications.
Gardasil has been widely recommended for all teens in recent years, as a vaccination to protect against HPV infections that can be sexually transmitted later in life, leading to the development of cervical cancer. However, plaintiffs allege Merck withheld important safety information from families and the medical community while promoting and pushing the wider use of their vaccine among children nationwide.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered all Gardasil lawsuits consolidated before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad in the Western District of North Carolina for pretrial proceedings.
In the first pretrial order (PDF) released by Judge Conrad as part of the new Gardasil MDL (multidistrict litigation), he announced that the initial status conference will be held on October 11. At that time, Gardasil vaccine lawyers representing plaintiffs and defendants should be ready to discuss, deadlines for amendments of pleadings, the need for master pleadings, scheduling issues, a proposed discovery plan, appointment of attorneys to leadership positions in the litigation and a plan for alternative dispute resolutions.
Judge Conrad has asked for the parties to propose a joint pretrial conference agenda by September 20, 2022.
Gardasil Side Effects
Studies have shown Gardasil contains a number of ingredients which are known to sometimes cause problems with the autoimmune system, including Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS) and HPV LI-DNA fragments.
Critics claim Merck failed to adequately disclose the presence of these ingredients, and also claim Merck used them in the placebos given to “control” test subjects during clinical trials, leading to an inaccurate assessment of Gardasil side effects.
As a result, teens and young adults throughout the United States are now pursuing Gardasil POTS lawsuits against Merck, indicating that they were left with autoimmune disorders and severe pain and injuries after receiving the HPV vaccine injections, including potentially life-threatening autoimmune disorders and cancers.
In complex product liability litigation, where a large number of claims are filed throughout the federal court system by individuals who suffered similar injuries as a result of the same or similar products, it is common for the federal court system to centralize the litigation for pretrial proceedings.
As part of the coordinated management of the Gardasil lawsuits, it is expected that Judge Conrad will establish a bellwether process, where small groups of representative vaccine injury claims will go through case-specific discovery and be prepared for early trial dates, to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if Gardasil vaccine settlements are not reached during the MDL proceedings, each case may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for separate trials.
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