Thank you to Lyn Redwood of Children's Health Defense for this report on the latest Mercktastrophe.
On Wednesday January 9th, I attended Science Day Presentations in the Jennifer Robi vs. Merck and Kaiser Permanente case in Los Angeles Superior Court. I want to report to our community on the outcome of this important event and provide some personal commentary.
It is difficult to describe the feelings of elation and frustration that I experienced during the full day of furious arguments that began at 9:30 am before Judge Maren Nelson. Due to the restrictions of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, my son and thousands of children like him, have never been able to have their injuries acknowledged in a court of law. This day gave families around the globe whose children’s health was permanently harmed by the HPV vaccine a glimmer of hope that their injuries and suffering would finally be acknowledged. The frustration I felt came from the obvious fact that the science relied on by our federal agencies to approve the HPV vaccine was criminally inadequate and that Jennifer’s injuries and those of the thousands of others like her could have been prevented.
Prior to Science Day, plaintiffs’ attorneys worried that because Judge Nelson threw out a $472 million 2017 jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson for causing ovarian cancer in women exposed to its asbestos-containing baby powders, the Court might not be very receptive to their arguments here. However, Judge Nelson gave scrupulous attention to the science presentations by both sides and clearly seemed to be approaching the Robi case with an open mind.
A red-letter day
After 20 years of advocating for vaccine safety, this was the first time that I’ve watched vaccine science issues adjudicated in a true court of law. It was truly a red-letter day. Jennifer’s lawyers brilliantly laid bare Merck’s anemic case for Gardasil, dissecting the science in withering presentations challenging both the efficacy and safety of the Gardasil vaccine, and then chronicling the horrifying agency and corporate corruption that lead to its approval.
Jennifer Robi is a 24-year-old former athlete and scholar who has been confined to a wheelchair since receiving her third Gardasil vaccines at age sixteen. She suffers continual uncontrolled neuro/muscular contractions (jerking) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and many other symptoms of systemic autoimmune dysregulation.
Jennifer’s attorney, Sol Ajalat, initially brought her case in Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and then, following a judgment in the program, elected to proceed in civil court. Since VICA (the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act) forbids recoveries for product defect or negligence, Ajalat brought Jennifer’s civil case under the theories that Merck committed fraud during its clinical trials and then failed to warn Jennifer (and, by implication, other injured girls) about the high risks and meager benefits of the vaccine.
In order to support Sol Ajalat and his sons Greg, Larry, and Steve, who compose the Los Angeles firm Ajalat & Ajalat, a blue ribbon A-Team of the nation’s leading plaintiffs’ law firms have joined Jennifer’s trial team. These include the firms most feared by Pharma: Weitz & Luxenberg (countless major pieces of litigation over 30 years), Morgan & Morgan (Vioxx, Phenphen, Breast Implants, Tobacco), Baum Hedlund, (Monsanto $289 million verdict 2018 and the $54 million 2000 verdict against Bayer in Haemophiliac/AIDS case) as well as Children’s Health Defense’s own Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kim Mack Rosenberg (a co-author of The HPV on Trial). The plaintiff’s bar has steered clear of vaccine lawsuits since the 2008 Thimerosal fiasco which nearly bankrupted several big firms. Now, Merck, through its reckless overreaching with Gardasil—a public health flimflam currently emerging as the most dangerous vaccine in history—has brought the nation’s leading trial lawyers back to the brawl.
The three Merck attorneys who made presentations were Dino Sangiamo, Sally Bryan, and Christina Gaarder. Jo Lyn Valoff represented Kaiser. Read more at the Child Health Safety website here.