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Gardasil Caused Lupus, Other Autoimmune Diseases After Young Boy Received HPV Vaccine: Lawsuit
Although families and medical providers were led to believe that Gardasil was safe and carried few serious side effects, a Florida woman indicates in a recently filed lawsuit that her young child was diagnosed with lupus and other serious autoimmune diseases after receiving the HPV vaccine.
The complaint (PDF) was brought late last month by Rebecca Sullivan, on behalf of herself and her minor son, identified with the initials A.S. in the lawsuit, seeking damages from Merck & Co. for failing to warn parents and the medical community about the risks caused by Gardasil.
Merck has marketed Gardasil since 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 for use among both young girls and boys before sexual activity, and has become widely recommended by medical providers throughout the U.S.
However, a growing number of parents and young adults are now pursuing a Gardasil lawsuit against Merck, claiming the drug maker has withheld critical safety information about the risk of autoimmune diseases from Gardasil, such as lupus, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other debilitating conditions, which leave otherwise healthy and active young children with serious disabilities.
Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuit
Sullivan indicates that her son, A.S., received his first Gardasil injection in July 2019, when he was 11. He then received a second dose of the HPV vaccine exactly one year later. However, immediately after receiving the second injection of Gardasil, A.S. began suffering from fatigue, loss of appetite, nasal congestion and rashes on his ears, the lawsuit notes.
“As the months progressed, so did Plaintiff’s symptoms. The rash persisted and spread across his entire body, he experienced extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, uncoordinated gate, and his hair began falling out,” Sullivan’s lawsuit states. “He was seen by multiple physicians and specialists for his complaints, including being admitted to the hospital.”
Since the injections, A.S. has been diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, the most common form of lupus, as well as lupus nephritis class IV & V, alopecia, cutaneous vasculitis, leukopenia, transaminitis, abnormal weight loss, positive ANA, normocytic anemia, sedimentation rate elevation, TSH elevation, polyarthritis, early satiety, immune-suppressed status, and h-pylori infection. The lawsuit indicates the boy continues to need to see specialists, receive regular medical testing and treatments for the numerous autoimmune disorders.
Sullivan’s lawsuit claims Merck knew about the autoimmune disease risks from Gardasil, but failed to warn doctors or patients about those potential side effects, and failed to take action to make the vaccine safer or tell doctors what to look out for as possible signs of problems that may emerge shortly after the injection.
The complaint presents claims for negligence, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, breach of express warranty and common law fraud.
August 2023 Gardasil Lawsuit Update
Sullivan’s claim 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 cases for trial, Gardasil 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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