Update: Lawsuit Alleges Merck Concealed Gardasil Vaccine Risks from Parents
January 18, 2023 - A product liability lawsuit  has been filed by a Maryland woman alleging that Merck concealed the potential risks of the Gardasil HPV vaccine from the public, causing her to develop postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which has left her with lifelong debilitating injuries.
The complaint was filed last week by Plaintiff Ashlyn Bancroft in New Jersey, claiming that Merck engaged in “disease mongering” and false advertising to maximize sales of Gardasil, while failing to disclose that the HPV vaccine can cause severe adverse reactions and conditions.
According to the lawsuit, Bancroft was 13 years old when she was first inoculated with the Gardasil vaccine in August 2017. She had no pre-existing autoimmune diseases or other health problems prior to receiving the shot; however, Bancroft soon began experiencing chronic headaches, lack of focus, and mood swings.
She sought medical treatment in November 2017 after she began to suffer from dizziness and black outs. These symptoms progressed to also include back pain and palpitations.
Bancroft has been subsequently diagnosed with POTS, chronic headaches, and mast cell disease, which she claims was the result of receiving the Gardasil vaccine.
The lawsuit further states that Merck knew about these risks for years, but hid this information from the public in order to protect its profits.
What is the Gardasil Vaccine Used For?
Gardasil is an HPV vaccine approved following clinical trials by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which can be used for both girls and boys. This vaccine is supposed to prevent most cases of cervical cancer if the vaccine is given before girls or women are exposed to the virus.
HPV vaccines can also prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer. In addition, clinical trials have shown that the vaccine can prevent genital warts, anal cancers, and mouth, throat, head, and neck cancers in women and men. There are 2 types of Gardasil vaccinations:
Gardasil “quadrivalent,” or Gardasil 4, was designed to prevent infection from two of the high-risk HPV types (16 and 18) and two low-risk HPV types (6 and 11). Following clinical trials, the vaccine was initially approved for girls and women ages 9-26.
The Vaccine Act recommended in 2007 that Gardasil become a routine vaccination to prevent cervical cancer for girls ages 11-12. Gardasil 4 is no longer available by vaccine manufacturers in the U.S. It was replaced by Gardasil 9.
Gardasil 9 was designed by the manufacturer to prevent infection from severe symptoms of seven types of high-risk HPV autoimmune diseases (16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58) and two low-risk types (6 and 11), as well as to reduce the risk of premature ovarian failure.
Since May 2017, it has been the only HPV vaccine available in the U.S. In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved expanded use of the Gardasil 9 vaccine to include individuals between the ages of 27 and 45.
Understanding the Gardasil Controversy
Gardasil lawsuits allege that Merck launched the Gardasil vaccine in 2006 with deceptive research trials which overstated the benefits and vastly understated the risks and side effects of HPV vaccines.
Merck aggressively marketed the Gardasil Vaccine utilizing scare tactics, false advertising, and political lobbyists to induce millions of parents to vaccinate their adolescent girls with Gardasil.
Both before and after the approval of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil lawsuits allege that Merck engaged in unscrupulous marketing tactics designed to overemphasize both the risks associated with HPV strains and the HPV virus and the purported efficacy of Gardasil to scare the public into agreeing to mass vaccinations of the Gardasil vaccine.
Before Gardasil, there was no HPV public health emergency in the U.S. and few women had even heard of HPV so there was little or no demand for an HPV vaccine. To ensure the financial success of its new “holy grail,” Merk preceded its rollout of Gardasil with years of expensive HPV “disease awareness” marketing.
Once Gardasil was approved for pre-teen girls, Merck launched an aggressive propaganda campaign aimed at scaring and guilting parents who did not inoculate their daughters with Gardasil. Merk’s campaign implied that “good parents” vaccinate their children with Gardasil.
During these aggressive marketing efforts, Merck fraudulently concealed the known risks and dangers of the HPV vaccine while exaggerating its efficacy. Merck marketed Gardasil with the most aggressive campaign ever mounted to promote a vaccine, spending more on Gardasil advertising to young women than any previous vaccine advertising campaign.
Gardasil Side Effects
The Gardasil vaccination has been linked to the following vaccine complications and severe side effects:
- Cervical cancer
- Autoimmune disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
- Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura Lupus
- Movement disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
- Autoimmune disease
- Autoimmune pancreatitis
- Encephalitis syndrome
- Autonomic dysfunction
- Reproductive disorders, including premature ovarian failure (POF)
- Small fiber neuropathy
- Joint pain
- Extreme headaches / severe headaches
- Severe pain
Does Gardasil Prevent Cervical Cancer?
Some have argued that Merck received fast-track approval based on the company’s theory that HPV alone causes cervical cancer, and that Gardasil could eliminate cervical cancer and other HPV-associated cancers. According to Gardasil lawsuits, Merck’s theory is unproven. Gardasil has never been shown to prevent cervical cancer rates or any other kind of cancer.
Merck has expressly represented through statements it made in its publications, television advertisements, billboards, print advertisements, online advertisements and website, and other written materials intended for consumers, patients, parents of minor-aged patients, medical providers and the general public, that Gardasil was safe and effective at preventing cancer.
For example, Merck’s “One Less” television and print advertisement campaign stated that Gardasil was safe and effective in preventing cervical cancer, that Gardasil was a “cervical cancer vaccine” and that any young girl who was vaccinated with Gardasil would be “one less” woman with cervical cancer.
The ubiquitous nature of these Gardasil commercials and the Gardasil marketing campaign gave the impression that cervical cancer was on the rise and more prevalent than it actually was, and that all good mothers vaccinate their daughters with the “cervical cancer vaccine.”
According to data from the National Cancer Institute’s (“NCI”) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (“SEER”), the incidence of deaths from cervical cancer prior to Gardasil’s introduction in the U.S. had been steadily declining for years and, in 2006, was 2.4 per 100,000 women or approximately 1 in every 42,000 women. The currently available rate is essentially unchanged, 2.2 per 100,000 women, based on data through 2017, according to the Vaccine Act.
The median age of death from cervical cancer is 58, and teenage girls essentially have zero risk of dying from cervical cancer.
Gardasil HPV Vaccine Class Action Filed in California
In May 2022, HPV vaccine lawyers for a group of victims filed a motion in federal court for an MDL HPV class action lawsuit for the long-term side effects caused by the Gardasil vaccine. The motion identified 34 pending Gardasil lawsuits in 25 different federal districts.
The number of HPV vaccine lawsuits will grow exponentially as more people learn about the serious long-term side effects the lawsuits allege were caused by Merk’s HPV vaccinations. Also, as of May 2022, there are another 91 Gardasil cases currently pending in “Vaccine Court” in the U.S. Court of Claims. These HPV lawsuits will convert to traditional tort cases once the vaccine proceeding is finished.
Gardasil Lawsuit Filed in California
A Gardasil Lawyer from a national law firm has filed a Gardasil Vaccine Lawsuit on behalf of a California man who alleges the Gardasil vaccine causes serious and disabling side effects.
Plaintiff Merrick Brunker accuses New Jersey-based Merck & Co., Inc. and subsidiary Merck Sharp & Dohme of misrepresenting Gardasil’s efficacy and downplaying known health risks to enhance sales.
Plaintiff Merrick Brunker was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school when he received the Gardasil vaccine on July 15, 2016. Before Gardasil, Merrick was a happy, healthy young man who enjoyed surfing, hiking, working out, playing basketball, going to the movies, building things around his family’s house, working on his car, and playing several musical instruments.
Within minutes of receiving the vaccine, Merrick reported an odd taste in his mouth, felt dizzy, and almost fainted. Six days later, he visited the doctor to report extreme headaches, intermittent tingling in his legs, numbness and feeling like he was blacking out.
His symptoms were so severe he could not walk. During this visit, the doctor performed a lumbar puncture because of his symptoms. Merrick has no memory of the doctor’s office visit outside of receiving the shot in his back and the doctor removing fluid.
A week after the lumbar puncture, Merrick returned to the doctor’s office with his father, Leo Brunker. When the doctor came in to examine Merrick, he was lying down with the lights off and a towel over his face. He told the doctor his symptoms had grown to include headaches, weakness, muscle spasms, nausea, sharp pains to the chest, and sensitivity to light and noise. He was not informed that the vaccine could be the cause of his symptoms.
The Gardasil Lawsuit (Case No. 56-2022-00563045-CU-PL-VTA) was filed in the State Court of California, Ventura County on February 8, 2022.
Why was Gardasil Recalled?
On December 16, 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was informed by Merck that the company planned to implement a voluntary recall of one lot (lot J007354) of Gardasil (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine Recombinant due to the potential for a small number of vials to contain glass particles as a result of breakage during the manufacturing process. Affected vials were distributed between August 20, 2013, and October 9, 2013.
Gardasil Lawsuit Allegations
Each Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuit alleges that the HPV vaccine caused patients to develop autoimmune disorders and other neurologic conditions. The plaintiffs allege that Merck failed to properly research and test the HPV vaccine before aggressively pushing it onto the market.
Related Article: Flu Shot & Guillain-Barré Syndrome
See all related dangerous drug lawsuits our lawyers have taken on.
How To File a Gardasil Lawsuit
Our Gardasil attorneys have received an influx of inquiries about how to file a Gardasil lawsuit. If you or a loved one wishes to learn more about filing a Gardasil Lawsuit, please consider the following carefully:
Report Your Claim to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
Young women who wish to file Gardasil Vaccine Lawsuits must report the claim to the vaccine court and vaccine manufacturers. The vaccine court operates under the Department of Health and Human Services.
They are responsible for providing financial compensation through the filing of a Gardasil Lawsuit to those who developed an adverse reaction including chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (pots), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, chronic regional pain syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, joint pain or other serious injuries caused by Gardasil injections.
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is the first step towards filing a lawsuit directly with the manufacturer in civil court. Our firm can help you file your claim directly to the vaccine court.
Choose the Right Attorney
If you’re planning on filing a Gardasil HPV vaccine lawsuit, you’re going to want to make sure you choose law firms with Gardasil litigation experience. The inner workings of pharmaceutical laws are complex and should be handled by an experienced attorney in the legal profession if you wish to have any success. Our law firms have vast experience in the pharmaceutical litigation legal industry.
Dealing With Settlements
If you don’t get offered a settlement, our law firms can represent you in the Civil court. A Gardasil Lawyer will need to file directly against the vaccine manufacturer without the backing of the vaccine court. We will be there with you every step of the way to optimize your lawsuit for success.
To qualify for a lawsuit under the Vaccine Act, you or your loved ones must meet the following requirements:
- The Gardasil HPV vaccine seriously injured you or your loved ones.
- The injury must be a high case profile. Meaning it caused hospitalization, surgery, or even death.
- You file your claim within the proper time window:
- Three years for injury
- Two years for death
- Four years of severe injuries that lead to death
To learn more about whether your case qualifies for a lawsuit, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
Get a Free Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial attorneys that focus exclusively on the representation of Gardasil HPV Vaccine Lawsuits. Our Gardasil Lawyers are handling Gardasil Lawsuits in all 50 states.
Again, if you or someone you know was injured by the Gardasil Vaccine or other HPV vaccine, you should contact us immediately for a free case consultation about your vaccine injuries. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Gardasil Lawsuit and an HPV Vaccine Personal Injury Lawyer can help.