Eligible for a Gardasil lawsuit?
Teen Suffered Autoimmune Diseases from HPV Vaccine Gardasil, Lawsuit Claims
A Maryland woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against Merck, alleging that she was left with severe autoimmune diseases, autonomic and neurological injuries after receiving three doses of the HPV vaccine Gardasil as a teenager.
The complaint (PDF) was brought by Katherine Miller in the Western District of North Carolina on September 1, joining about 100 similar claims already being pursued against the drug manufacturer, each raising allegations that critical safety information was withheld from the medical community, while the HPV vaccine was aggressively marketed and grew into a blockbuster product for Merck.
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 chronic fatigue syndrome, 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
According to Miller’s lawsuit, she was 17 when she received her first Gardasil HPV vaccine injection in August 2017. Over the next year Miller received two more injections, with the third in August 2018.
However, following her third injection, Miller began experiencing indigestion, constipation, brain fog, extreme fatigue, dizziness, headaches and other symptoms. These progressively worsened as time went by as she even began to suffer seizure-like symptoms from just standing up too quickly.
After seeing a number of medical specialists and undergoing numerous tests, Miller was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), brain cavernoma, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Like other claims previously filed throughout the federal court system, Miller alleges that Merck knew about the risk of autoimmune disease from Gardasil while conducting clinical trials early in the vaccine’s development, but chose not to warn the medical community. Instead, the drug maker allegedly manipulated study results, to hide the fact that its HPV vaccine may cause serious and potentially life-changing side effects.
“Merck’s corruption and fraud in researching, testing, labeling, and promoting Gardasil have paid off handsomely,” Miller’s lawsuit notes. “In 2022, Merck made $6.9 billion in worldwide revenues from Gardasil.”
Miller presents claims of negligence, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, breach of express warranty and common law fraud.
September 2023 Gardasil Lawsuit Update
Miller’s lawsuit 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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