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(U.S. District Court for the Western District of N.C., March 20, 2024): More than 140 cases against Merck, the maker of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, have been consolidated in the federal district court for the Western District of North Carolina as multi-district litigation (MDL). In two test cases in the MDL, Merck filed a motion to dismiss almost all claims, arguing that they are barred by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which protects manufacturers from product liability claims as an incentive to produce vaccines. The Court granted the motion in large part–dismissing claims of manufacturing and design defect, failure to warn patients and the public, and negligence–and allowing only claims of failure to warn medical providers and fraudulent concealment vis-à-vis medical providers to proceed. These legal findings impact all plaintiffs in the MDL and severely reduce the pending claims against Merck. Read the full order here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – May 14, 2024.

View all cases under “Reproductive Liberties and Care Access.