Eligible for a Gardasil lawsuit?
Gardasil Vaccine Left Teen with POTS, Severe Gastroparesis and Other Long-Term Side Effects: Lawsuit
A young woman injected with the Gardasil vaccine as a teenager has filed a lawsuit indicating that the HPV vaccine caused her to develop stomach paralysis and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which reduces the volume of blood pumped through the heart.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Gwendolyn Kieft on October 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, indicating that Merck & Co. has withheld information about the risks associated with it’s blockbuster vaccine from families and the medical community.
Gardasil was introduced in 2006, for vaccination against HPV infections, which can be sexually transmitted and lead to the later development of cervical cancer. The injection has been promoted by Merck for use among both young girls and boys before sexual activity, and has become widely recommended by medical providers throughout the U.S., since they believed it carries few, if any, serious side effects.
However, a growing number of parents and young adults are now pursuing a Gardasil lawsuit, claiming that Merck failed to disclose the risk of autoimmune disease problems from Gardasil, such as POTS, chronic fatigue syndrome, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other debilitating conditions, which leave otherwise healthy and active young children with serious disabilities.
Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, Kieft was only 15 when she received her first Gardasil HPV vaccine injection in March 2018, and was 16 when she received her second dose in December 2019.
Prior to receiving the Gardasil vaccine, Kieft indicates that she was an active teenager. However, she began suffering a number of severe symptoms shortly after her first vaccination, including nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weight loss, which continued to get worse.
“Even though she was having symptoms, nobody put two and two together that her complaints could be linked back to the Gardasil vaccination and she was able to cope,” the lawsuit notes. “Her complaints significantly worsened after the second shot and new symptoms appeared.”
Kieft was seen by multiple doctors in the following months, and was eventually diagnosed with POTS as well as severe gastroparesis, a form of stomach paralysis, which required she be fitted with a feeding tube.
POTS leads to a reduced volume of blood flowing through the heart. Symptoms include lightheadedness, fatigue, accelerated heartbeat, dizziness, an inability to exercise, and fainting. The symptoms can be exacerbated with the person stands up or lies down suddenly.
When gastroparesis occurs, the stomach is slow to empty, resulting in symptoms including nausea, vomiting undigested food, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, severe dehydration, feeling full after only a few bites, undigested food hardening in the stomach, acid reflux, fluctuating blood sugar levels, lack of appetite, weight loss, malnutrition and decreased quality of life.
“As a result of her post-Gardasil symptoms, Plaintiff has been unable to engage in activities that a normally young person would enjoy. Plaintiff’s life now revolves around doctors’ visits, tending to her feeding tube, and making sure she does everything she can to keep her body running,” the lawsuit indicates. “As a result of her injuries, Plaintiff is depressed.”
The lawsuit claims Kieft’s illnesses were caused by the Gardasil injections, which led to her developing severe autoimmune, autonomic, and neurological injuries.
Kieft presents claims of negligence, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, breach of warranty, and common law fraud.
October 2023 Gardasil Lawsuit Update
Kieft’s complaint will be consolidated with about 100 other similar lawsuits over the HPV vaccine currently pending in the federal court system, 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.
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 HPV vaccine 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
- Neurologic Disorder
- Brain Fog or Chronic Inability to Concentrate
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Pain
- Severe Headaches
- Difficulty Sleeping
- 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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