Los Angeles-based personal injury law firm Wisner Baum has come out in opposition to proposed legislation in California that, if passed, would add HPV vaccine Gardasil to the list of 10 required vaccinations for students attending public or private school in the state.
California Assembly Bill 659, or the “Cancer Prevention Act,” was introduced Feb. 9 by State Rep. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of the 4th Assembly District, along with seven other members of the state government.
Students entering eighth grade would be the first ones required to receive the vaccination if the bill passes. Those in home-based private schooling or independent study programs would reportedly not be included.
Gardasil was developed by Merck & Co. in order to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV), however, the treatment has come under fire recently for adverse effects allegedly stemming from its widespread use. In September, attorneys at what was then known as Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of 13-year-old Noah Foley who died following a two-year battle with complications from the vaccine.
In California state courts, seven personal injury cases are currently pending against Merck, while 65 federally filed cases were consolidated before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Last fall, Conrad appointed Bijan Esfandiari of Wisner Baum, Rachel Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm and Paul Pennock of Morgan & Morgan as co-lead counsel. Conrad also named Allison Mullins of Turning Point Litigation as liaison counsel.
In a March 2 press release, Wisner Baum said it expects another 80 cases to be added to the Multidistrict Litigation over the next year.
“At least 115 cases are currently pending in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), most of which are expected