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New Jersey Woman Alleges Gardasil Made Her ‘a Shell of What I Used to Be’

Emma Sullivan has sued Merck for her Gardasil injuries

Emma Sullivan, Gardasil Lawsuit Plaintiff

Baum Hedlund Gardasil Trial Lawyers

Baum Hedlund Trial Lawyers

A Gardasil Plaintiff has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against Merck, alleging Gardasil has caused a constellation of injuries, including POTS.

Merck (NYSE:MRK)

I am a shell of what I used to be and feel like all of the hard work and dedication I put into every aspect of my life was taken away from me”
— Emma Sullivan, Gardasil Plaintiff
FREEHOLD, NJ, UNITED STATES, December 28, 2021 / -- Gardasil injury attorneys from the law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have filed a lawsuit in New Jersey state court on behalf of a woman who says the HPV vaccine turned her into “a shell of what I used to be.”

Attorneys Bijan Esfandiari, Nicole Maldonado, Michael L. Baum, Monique Alarcon, and co-counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. filed the lawsuit (Case No. MON-L-004022-21) on December 1, 2021 in Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division: Monmouth County. Plaintiff Emma Sullivan, 25, alleges New Jersey-based Merck & Co., Inc. and subsidiary Merck Sharp & Dohme knowingly created a substantial risk of significant harm to patients injected with the “defective and unreasonably dangerous” Gardasil HPV vaccine. Her attorneys are seeking punitive damages against Merck.

“Emma worked incredibly hard, academically and physically, to set herself up for a bright future,” says attorney Nicole Maldonado. “The journey from being a college-recruited scholar athlete to now dealing with constant and permanent debilitating health issues has been incredibly hard for her and her family. Our firm believes it is time for Merck to take ownership for the extensive damage this vaccine has done to Emma and countless others like her who have seen their lives decimated by Gardasil-induced injuries.”

Emma Sullivan was 18 years old when she received her first dose of the Gardasil vaccine in July of 2014. Before her vaccination, Emma was a straight A student athlete, and worked as an ocean rescue lifeguard. During high school, Emma swam competitively, training two or more hours per day, six or seven days a week. Emma’s skill and athleticism drew interest from college recruiters. In the end, she decided to attend Villanova University, where she became a nursing student and swam at the club level, not wanting the burdens that came with being a student athlete to affect her studies.

Weeks after her vaccination, Emma left her childhood home for Villanova University. She became ill almost immediately upon arrival. Daily tasks became difficult. She was tired all the time and had severe joint and shin pain when she exercised. Her heart would start racing, making her feel jittery. In her 18 years before Gardasil, Emma rarely experienced headaches But after Gardasil, she suffered from chronic severe headaches, along with occasional dizziness and feeling faint. She suffered from insomnia at night and could not sleep, no matter what she tried.

When Emma’s parents came to visit her at school in September of 2014, they were shocked at the weight she had gained. She told them she never went out and was vomiting all of the time, so she had no idea how she gained the weight. By about mid-September 2014, Emma started vomiting undigested food multiple times a day and somehow continued to gain weight. She could no longer swim because she was too fatigued. Her heart rate would constantly fluctuate and she had a constant tremor. This alarmed her, as she believed it would prevent her from being a nurse. That fear only grew stronger when the tremors soon affected her entire body.

By her spring semester of 2015, Emma was beginning to feel a bit better. She regained some strength and her vomiting decreased. By the summer, she had started working again as a lifeguard and was feeling better.

In August of 2015, Emma received her second dosage of Gardasil. Four days following the second Gardasil shot, Emma developed severe headaches to the point where she had to remain sitting. She also had severe joint pain and felt burning in her skin. At around this time, Emma also had to have a colposcopy to remove a lesion from her cervix, the very thing the Gardasil vaccine was supposed to prevent.

As months passed, Emma continued to experience severe headaches, nausea, joint pain, and extreme vomiting. She vomited so much that she had to resort to liquids to help retain anything in her system. Throughout the night, she had trouble breathing and had chest pains, During menstruation, Emma would experience extreme pain and cramping and would have to be taken to the hospital. She was having trouble sleeping but when she was finally able to sleep, she would sleep for 18-20 hours at a time. Emma also experienced night terrors and sleep paralysis that were not only disruptive to herself but to her college roommates as well.

When she experienced severe pain near her liver, doctors told her that they believed her gall bladder was enlarged. Diagnostic testing revealed possible pancreatitis, liver enzymes elevated, and enlarged liver, which kept her in the hospital overnight. This pattern of illness or multi system symptoms had become routine.

Emma’s health prevented her from working and forced her to take an academic leave of absence her sophomore year. For the remainder of her academic career, she needed extra time for exams and assignments as she was in constant pain and fatigued. She could no longer engage in normal student activities because of her various conditions, which now included:

• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Brain fog
• Joint pains
• Breathing difficulties
• Fatigue
• Severe stomach issues
• Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) tendencies
• Endometriosis
• Insomnia
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Panic attacks

Due to her long list of injuries and ailments, Emma was forced to give up her dream of becoming a nurse. Yet despite her health struggles, she majored in psychology and graduated with high honors. She is currently working as a designer. Although she excels at her job, she is so fatigued by the end of the day that she goes home to bed most days.

Doctors have diagnosed Emma with:

• Autonomic Dysfunction
• Narcolepsy
• Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
• Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
• Small Fiber Neuropathy (SFN)

“I went from an athlete in peak physical shape to an overweight, overtired person seemingly overnight,” Emma says. “I am a shell of what I used to be and feel like all of the hard work and dedication I put into every aspect of my life was taken away from me. For those considering this vaccine, I would urge you to do your own research. I wouldn’t wish my painful experience on anyone.”

Gardasil Lawsuit Allegations Against Merck

Lawsuits against Merck include the following causes of action:

1) Negligence
2) Breach of Implied Warranty (Failure to Warn)
3) Breach of Implied Warranty (Manufacturing Defect)
4) Breach of Express Warranty
5) Common Law Fraud

Merck has a long history of bringing controversial products to market, including Fosamax (a purported bone density drug that caused bone fractures) and Nuvaring (a birth control device associated with life-threatening blood clots and death).

Merck’s most infamous drug is Vioxx, a pain medication the company had to pull from the market due to cardiovascular risks. Tens of thousands of patients filed lawsuits against Merck, alleging they suffered heart attacks and other cardiovascular injuries as a result of ingesting the medication.

The litigation revealed that Merck knew early on that Vioxx was linked to fatal cardiovascular adverse events but intentionally chose to conceal the risks from the public and medical community. Lawsuits accused Merck of orchestrating a scheme to downplay the severity of the risks, misrepresenting the results of its clinical trials, failing to undertake the clinical trials that would reveal risks, and blacklisting medical professionals who dared to publicly criticize the safety of Vioxx.

Merck paid nearly $5 billion to settle the tens of thousands of Vioxx personal injury actions and an additional $1 billion to settle a securities class action. The company was also forced to pay $950 million in civil and criminal fines to the Department of Justice and other governmental entities as a result of various criminal activities Merck had engaged in with respect to Vioxx.

Attorneys in the Gardasil litigation allege Merck has engaged in similar corporate malfeasance with its HPV vaccine.

According to Merck’s marketing, Gardasil provides lifetime immunity to cervical and other HPV-associated cancers. Plaintiffs in the Gardasil litigation, however, say Merck’s marketing claim that Gardasil prevents cancer (not to mention lifetime immunity), is unproven. The allegations state that Gardasil may actually be more likely to cause cancer in those previously exposed to HPV than prevent it.

Lawsuits allege that Merck knows and actively conceals the fact that Gardasil can cause a constellation of serious adverse reactions and side effects, including autoimmune diseases, and death in some recipients. According to the complaints, Gardasil contains numerous hazardous ingredients, including at least one ingredient that Merck failed to disclose to regulators and the public. Studies have shown that one of Gardasil’s ingredients, Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS) binds to non-vaccine proteins, triggering autoimmune disorders and other serious conditions.

Plaintiffs say Merck, in designing and conducting its clinical trials for Gardasil, concealed the risks to falsely enhance the vaccine’s safety profile, just as the company did years prior with Vioxx. In order to obtain its Gardasil license, Merck designed its clinical trial studies to purposefully conceal evidence of chronic conditions such as autoimmune diseases while exaggerating the vaccine’s purported efficacy, the lawsuits allege. This “wholesale fraud” and dishonesty in the clinical tests led many physicians to recommend the vaccination under false assumptions, attorneys say.

By December 2019, Gardasil had more reported adverse events than any other vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) had received more than 64,000 HPV vaccine adverse event reports by that time. It’s not surprising then that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has paid out millions of dollars in damages for injuries and deaths.

“As a result of Merck’s fraud, Gardasil is wreaking havoc on a substantial swath of an entire generation of children and young adults on a worldwide scale,” the Gardasil lawsuits allege.

About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman

The award-winning law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has successfully litigated cases against many of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Established in 1973, the firm has earned a reputation for breaking new legal ground, holding corporations accountable, influencing public policy, and raising public awareness on important safety issues. Using its longstanding tradition of success in the courtroom, the firm always strives to shine a spotlight on unsafe products or harmful practices to protect consumers from dangerous products. Across all areas of practice, the firm has won more than $4 billion in settlements and verdicts.

Baum Hedlund wishes to stress that the firm is not against vaccines. Vaccines have the potential to eradicate disease and save millions of lives. The firm is, however, against intentional efforts to mislead consumers about the safety and effectiveness of a drug or vaccine. Baum Hedlund attorneys have always fought—and will continue to fight—for the rights of consumers to be fully and honestly informed about risks associated with any drug, vaccine, or medical device. The firm will work tirelessly to ensure those rights are defended and victims of injustice are compensated for their injuries.

Robin McCall
Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman
+1 310-207-3233
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