Law firm Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman filed the lawsuit July 27 on behalf of Los Angeles resident Victoria Trevisan in the California Superior Court in L.A. County. Trevisan, 20, developed several vaccine injuries after her Gardasil vaccination, including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). People affected by POTS experience a faster heartbeat whenever they change positions from lying down to standing up and vice versa.
The complaint accused the New Jersey-based Merck of fraudulently concealing the risks of its Gardasil HPV vaccine. It was also the 26th suit the law firm filed against Merck – in partnership with health freedom group Children's Health Defense (CHD) and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., its CEO and chief legal counsel.
According to the lawsuit, Trevisan was a straight-A student-athlete who participated in ice skating and soccer. She dreamt of earning a college soccer scholarship while studying medical forensics. However, this all came to an end when she was injected with the Gardasil HPV vaccine at age 13.
The student-athlete fainted and hit her head on the window of her doctor's office on the day she received her third Gardasil shot. This instance was one of many trips to different doctors Trevisan made over the span of a few months to treat a growing list of symptoms. Anxiety, body pains, brain fog, cognitive impairment, depression, frequent headaches, hives, insomnia and lightheadedness were just some of the post-vaccination symptoms she experienced. (Related: Chronic fatigue syndromes and the Gardasil scandal: POTS and the dangers of aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines.)
These symptoms prevented her from engaging in normal activities enjoyed by teens and young adults. Trevisan eventually dropped out of high school and completed her schooling at home.
From being a student-athlete earlier, she can no longer work a normal job and has become reliant on her parents for financial support. The symptoms she experienced, coupled with ever-present fatigue, forced her to give up her dream of working in the medical field.
The former student-athlete said she is pursuing a claim against Merck as she wants other people to learn from her experiences and be better informed of the risks of the Gardasil HPV shot. Had she known about the potential side effects of the vaccine, she would not have consented to it.
"I just want people to know that this happened to me, and it can happen to anyone," said Trevisan, who has received all her childhood vaccines.
"It is important for me to share my story to help make sure others understand that there are risks. There hasn't been a day that's gone by since I received the Gardasil vaccine that it hasn't affected me. I don't want this pain for other kids."
Trevisan's lawsuit against Merck also argued that there are no studies proving Gardasil is able to prevent cervical cancer, contrary to what the drug giant implies in its advertising. It also alleged that the Big Pharma firm deceived government agencies – namely the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – into approving Gardasil.
"In order to obtain FDA approval, Merck designed and conducted a series of fraudulent Gardasil studies. [It] then influenced the votes of the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to win both an FDA license and a CDC approval and recommendation that all 11- and 12-year-old girls should be vaccinated with Gardasil."
The suit also pointed out a conflict of interest in the CDC regarding the approval of Gardasil, which involved former CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. It stated that Gerberding – who served at the public health agency from 2002 to 2009 – "obligingly ushered the Gardasil vaccine through CDC's regulatory process, manifestly ignoring clear evidence that Gardasil's efficacy was unproven and that the vaccine was potentially dangerous."
This paid off for Gerberding, who Merck later named as the president of its vaccines department in 2010 – shortly after leaving the CDC.
VaccineInjuryNews.com has more stories about women injured by Merck's Gardasil HPV shot.
Watch this video about mother and daughter Ann and Linny Henry suffering vaccine injuries after getting the Gardasil HPV vaccine.