For more than 15 years, we have believed that HPV vaccines are safe and potent. However, a new study has revealed that Gardasil, an HPV vaccine, can promote mutagenetic changes in the virus that causes cervical cancer in women.
Vaccination is meant to be the safest method of preventing diseases. But sometimes vaccines can cause adverse reactions. This post will help you better understand Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuits, claims, and more.
Gardasil HPV Class Action Lawsuit Updates
January 2023 Update
In November, the Gardasil class action lawsuit claimants submitted a ‘petition to compel’ seeking to coerce Merck & Co., the defendant, to provide more records and broaden their interrogatory replies.
Merck and its attorneys have until January 5, 2023, to respond to the request (or issue supplemental discovery responses) after being allowed an extension on the deadline.
December 2022 Update
The Gardasil class action attorneys for both parties filed a unified proposal for a bellwether program last week. According to the joint submission, sixteen bellwether candidate cases are to be prepared for trial over the following year.
Six of these cases will be selected under the pre-trial strategy for the inaugural bellwether trial, and those decisions will be made in August 2024. The plan will probably be approved and adopted at the upcoming monthly status conference by MDL Judge Robert Conrad.
October 2022 Update
On October 11, the newly created Gardasil MDL will hold its first status conference before MDL Judge Robert Conrad in the Western District of North Carolina.
The appointment of lawyers to the plaintiffs’ leadership committee and the selection of lead counsel will be among Judge Conrad’s top priorities. A leadership committee is a group of lawyers who will make tactical decisions on behalf of all the plaintiffs.
September 2022 Update
A proposal to merge all Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuits into a single class action MDL was approved by the JPML last month. The new class action, named In re: Gardasil Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 3036, will be heard by Judge Robert Conrad Jr. in the Western District of North Carolina.
By approving the motion and creating the new class action, the JPML dismissed Merck’s arguments that MDL consolidation would contradict the Vaccine Act and result in vaccine reluctance.
In October 2022, a hearing will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, before the court. The choice of lawyers to be on the plaintiffs’ leadership committee will be the main topic of discussion at the first meeting of the new Gardasil class action MDL.
August 2022 Update
Arguments for and against the Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuits being merged into an MDL class action lawsuit will be heard by the MDL Panel.
The plaintiffs are requesting consolidation in either Arizona or Wisconsin’s federal courts. Merck opposes a class action lawsuit as it thinks the vaccine court should handle these matters. The MDL Panel will have its hearing on July 28, 2022.
Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuits
Gardasil is a vaccine created by Merck & Co. for preventing human papillomavirus (HPV). Merck obtained clearance for Gardasil in 2006 using fraudulent research studies that dramatically hyped the vaccine’s benefits while drastically understating its risks and adverse effects.
Using fear tactics, deceptive advertising, and political lobbying, Merck aggressively promoted Gardasil to persuade millions of parents to vaccinate their teenage daughters with the drug.
Today, thousands of girls who took the Gardasil vaccine suffer from adverse health effects, while others have died due to vaccine-related complications.
Approval of the Gardasil Vaccine
Gardasil is a vaccination designed to shield against human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a relatively common viral infection transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
Most individuals will contract HPV at some point since it is the most prevalent STD. Most HPV cases are entirely benign. However, a small percentage of HPV infections in women can potentially progress to cervical cancer if ignored.
In June 2006, Merck secured quick FDA clearance for Gardasil. During this time, Merck was still grieving from the billion-dollar losses it had experienced when its drug Vioxx was pulled off the market.
Merck employees referred to Gardasil as the “holy grail” that may help the business compensate for Vioxx’s revenue losses.
Merck withheld important information concerning Gardasil’s safety and efficacy (or lack thereof) during the accelerated approval process.
Merck needed to carry out comprehensive and sufficient medical investigations and research during the preapproval or post-approval phases.
However, Merck’s clinical trials solely looked at whether Gardasil might prevent probable precursor conditions rather than if it could prevent cancer.
Then Merck presented false information claiming that these “precursor conditions” inevitably led to cancer.
Merk’s Deceptive Marketing Campaign to Push Gardasil
Before and after Gardasil was approved, Merck engaged in dishonest marketing strategies intended to exaggerate the dangers of HPV and the supposed efficacy of Gardasil to frighten the public into supporting widespread vaccination campaigns with the Gardasil vaccine.
There was little to no demand for an HPV vaccination before Gardasil since HPV was not a public health crisis in the U.S., and few women were even aware of HPV.
Merk conducted years of costly HPV “disease awareness” marketing before the release of Gardasil to ensure the profitability of its new “holy grail.”
Once Gardasil was licensed for use in pre-teen girls, Merck initiated a fear-mongering propaganda effort to make parents who chose not to immunize their kids with Gardasil feel guilty.
The message of Merk’s ad was that “good parents” would give their kids the Gardasil vaccine.
Merck falsely withheld the HPV vaccine’s recognized risks and hazards throughout these aggressive marketing campaigns while overstating its effectiveness.
With the most aggressive vaccine marketing effort ever launched, Merck spent more on Gardasil advertising than on any other vaccination campaign before it.
Merck’s Political Lobbying to Make Gardasil Mandatory
In addition to its strong marketing campaign, Merk persuaded state governments to mandate all school-going children to take the Gardasil vaccination through political lobbying and financial incentive schemes.
These groups then began actively lobbying lawmakers around the nation to impose the Gardasil vaccine for all sixth-grader girls.
Besides paying these lobbyists, Merck gave millions in direct donations to state health agencies as well as contributions to political campaigns.
The Maryland Department of Health received $92 million from Merck between 2012 and 2018 to promote the Gardasil vaccine in public schools.
This financing compensated school administrators to mislead students and parents into believing the Gardasil vaccine was compulsory.
Merck Misrepresented the Efficacy of Gardasil
Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuits contend Merck exaggerated its effectiveness by fraudulently promoting that it prevents cervical cancer from persuading policymakers and public health officials to endorse Gardasil. There is no reliable evidence that Gardasil inhibits cervical cancer.
Merck did not want to spend the time or money required to conduct the tests demonstrating that their vaccine prevents cervical cancer.
Merck, instead, convinced authorities to let it utilize “surrogate endpoints” to back up its hypothesis that HPV vaccinations would be successful in preventing cervical cancer.
Without proof that the vaccinations will prevent cancer in the long term, Merck reduced the clinical trials to a few years by relying on these surrogate endpoints.
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A UK study published in January 2020 cast doubts on Merck’s assertion that the Gardasil vaccine reduced cervical cancer. The report stresses the lack of evidence supporting Gardasil’s ability to prevent cervical cancer (or any other type of cancer).
Gardasil May Increase the Risk of Cervical Cancer
In contrast to Merck’s assertions, Gardasil may raise the likelihood of cervical and other cancers rather than prevent them.
Various studies (including one from the CDC, which has until now supported the vaccine) have found that by suppressing particular HPV strains, Gardasil vaccines may encourage mutagenetic shifts in the virus that might result in cancer.
Public health records appear to support the theory that Gardasil may increase cervical cancer incidence. Cervical cancer incidence in young women between the ages of 25 and 29 rose by 54% in Britain after the launch of the HPV vaccine.
Thirteen years after Gardasil was introduced and forced onto teens, there has been a 16% increase in women aged 25 to 29 and a 30% increase in women aged 30-34 in Australia. Meanwhile, cancer rates for older women (who have not been vaccinated) are decreasing.
In short, Gardasil may make cancer more prevalent. For those victims who decide to bring a Gardasil vaccination case, this will be their main argument. But more research is needed on this issue.
Most women who file Gardasil claims do so because of long-term adverse effects or autoimmune conditions; cervical cancer prevention will not be the main issue.
The negative impact that Gardasil may cause those individuals, primarily girls, which they did not expect when receiving the HPV vaccine, will be the focus.
Gardasil HPV Side Effects Long-Term and Autoimmune Disorders
According to recent scientific studies, Gardasil causes and raises the risk of a range of long-term adverse effects linked with autoimmune disorders.
The following autoimmune conditions have been connected explicitly to Gardasil:
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
Gardasil has also been connected to a wide range of long-term adverse effects linked to induced-autoimmune disorders, including fibromyalgia, dysautonomia, chronic regional pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and premature ovarian failure.
The link between Gardasil and a range of severe injuries has been explored in numerous published medical journal articles.
Patients have also been reported in these articles to have developed POTS, osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), fibromyalgia, and other symptoms of autonomic impairment years after receiving the Gardasil vaccine.
Gardasil Linked to Premature Ovarian Failure
Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is among the most detrimental side effects that the Gardasil HPV vaccine may cause. Premature ovarian insufficiency (also known as primary ovarian failure) occurs when the ovaries stop functioning and stop producing eggs before the age of 40 and before menopause.
POI is linked with abnormal estrogen production in the ovaries. This condition is a serious issue because it might result in infertility.
Various factors, including autoimmune disorders, X-chromosomal abnormalities, toxins, and, of course, the removal of the ovaries, can cause POI.
Recent medical research has revealed that an immunological response to the Gardasil HPV vaccine can result in early ovarian failure. This happens when the immune system produces antibodies that target the tissue in the ovaries, where the eggs are stored.
The first primary study connecting POI to the Gardasil vaccine was published in 2020. The study found a disproportionately high number of negative vaccine effect reports linking premature ovarian insufficiency and early menopause.
In March 2022, Drugs Real World Outcomes published a follow-up study. The researchers also determined that there could be a link between the HPV vaccination and premature ovarian insufficiency.
Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuits
The latest data tying Gardasil to various autoimmune illnesses and other health issues has spurred several Gardasil product liability lawsuits against Merck.
Women with autoimmune disease development and other major medical issues, including POTS, are the plaintiffs in these Gardasil cases.
The Gardasil lawsuits blame Merck for falsely claiming that the Gardasil vaccine can prevent cervical cancer while deceitfully withholding information about associated health risks.
In a Gardasil litigation, Merck is being sued for traditional product liability torts such as negligence, failure to warn, and manufacturing defects.
Fraud claims are also part of the Gardasil class action lawsuit. These are uncommon in product liability lawsuits, highlighting how concerned Gardasil attorneys are about Merck’s actions.
Some Gardasil lawyers are calling for a recall of the drug. Knowing this is crucial to understanding what a Gardasil case seeks.
There is no widespread support for a recall of Gardasil, not because it’s unrealistic for everyone. It is that accurate information about the advantages and drawbacks of Gardasil should have been provided to patients, physicians, and parents.
The Gardasil Lawsuit and Vaccine Act
A federal court in Nevada rejected a Gardasil case in March 2022, stating it was “partially” barred by the Vaccine Act. The Vaccine Act is legislation that authorizes negligence claims against vaccine producers but excludes design defects and a few failure to warn claims.
In Flores v. Merck & Co., the plaintiff claimed in her Gardasil lawsuit that her body deteriorated after receiving the Gardasil HPV vaccination. She experienced nausea, exhaustion, and dizziness, which worsened with time.
Merck filed a petition to dismiss based on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). The Vaccine Act is a statute passed in 1986 that created a no-fault compensation scheme for vaccine-related injuries in children.
Merck argued that the claimant’s negligence claim was “poorly disguised” as a claim for a design defect. The court agreed with Merck’s argument, making it ineligible under the Vaccine Act.
Additionally, the court determined that the plaintiff’s failure to warn claim in their Gardasil lawsuit seemed preempted by the Vaccine Act and had to be dropped.
Most dismissals were “without prejudice,” meaning that the plaintiff can “try again” by revising her claims and submitting an amended complaint, even if the judge ultimately rejected all the plaintiff’s claims.
Thus, the Gardasil litigation is still active. However, the negligence claim must be distinguished from the design defect claim in an amended complaint.
About the failure to warn accusation, the amended lawsuit must have more details concerning the claims that Merck failed to warn the plaintiff’s healthcare providers about particular risks linked with the Gardasil vaccine.
The plaintiff has to file an amended complaint. And yes, Merck already submitted another petition to dismiss. Nevertheless, the Vaccine Act presents a challenge for people attempting to file a Gardasil lawsuit.
Every Gardasil attorney needs to circumvent the Act. If not, the Gardasil lawsuit will be barred, and the victim will have to seek a settlement through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
The amount of money awarded in some instances will be much lower than what a jury in a civil lawsuit would award if they agreed with the victim’s complaint.
Contact an HPV Vaccine Attorney
If you or your loved one has been a victim of the Gardasil HPV vaccine side effect, you should speak to a lawyer experienced in this type of litigation.
Legal Giant partners with nationally recognized law firms that handle vaccine lawsuits across the states.
Our partner attorneys offer a free evaluation and can obtain financial compensation for you or your loved one by filing a Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuit.
Contact us to schedule your consultation today.