June 20, 2022 — Merck & Co. is facing dozens of Gardasil lawsuits after children and teenagers developed severe autoimmune diseases and other life-threatening side effects of the HPV vaccine.
Because these Gardasil lawsuits involving autoimmune diseases are so similar, lawyers for people who were injured have filed a motion asking federal judges to consolidate the litigation into one court, under one judge.
The process, known as a Multi-District Litigation (MDL), would help lawyers coordinate discovery and pretrial proceedings.
In recent years, at least 34 Gardasil lawsuits have been filed against Merck. Each of these lawsuits alleges that Merck rushed Gardasil to market in just 6 months without adequately testing it for safety.
At least 39 additional Gardasil autoimmune lawsuits have already gone through the mandatory U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“Vaccine Court”). Another 52 additional Gardasil autoimmune cases are currently pending in Vaccine Court, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys.
The plaintiffs claim that Merck aggressively advertised Gardasil without adequately warning about side effects, such as autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, and other complications.
Most of the lawsuits involve autoimmune diseases, such as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Orthostatic Intolerance, and a blood clotting disorder called Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).
Lawyers allege that the immune response triggered by the ingredients in the Gardasil vaccine “can cause cross-reactions and dangerous attacks against human proteins” and cause autoimmune diseases.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is expected to decide whether to consolidate Gardasil lawsuits during a hearing sometime this summer.