What is the Court of Federal Claims and how does it relate to the Gardasil litigation?

The Ronan Law Blog

April 21, 2010

The Court of Federal Claims is where THE RONAN LAW FIRM recently filed a claim on behalf of ALEXIS WOLF regarding the Gardasil vaccinations.  In accordance with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, the claim MUST be heard in the Court of Federal Claims prior to being tried in state or district courts.  Though straightforward on its face, this requirement may cause a lot of problems for parents when dealing with the Gardasil litigation.

WHAT PROBLEMS ARE CREATED BY THE COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS?

The primary concern THE RONAN LAW FIRM has with the Gardasil litigation is that parents may be misinformed regarding the statute of limitations for these cases.  Whereas many states grant minors the ability to wait until they reach 18 to file suit, the Court of Federal Claims requires that suit be filed withing 3 years of the initial injury date.  In cases of death, the statue of limitations is only 2 years.

WHAT ARE STATUTES OF LIMITATION?

The statute of limitation is a tool used by the courts to prevent suits from being brought long after the issue has occurred.  In requiring a suit to be filed in a timely manner, the court protects the interests of the defendant as it pertains to being aware of potential defenses and evidence necessary for the pending litigation.  Though it serves a very valuable purpose, the statute of limitations can be quite damaging when dealing with delayed claims.

If a person is unaware of the statute of limitations, failure to bring forth a claim within the prescribed time frame can prevent that claim from ever being raised on their behalf.  Simply put, if you don’t file on time, you forfeit your right to file that particular lawsuit.

HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO THE GARDASIL LITIGATION?

As mentioned above, often times, the states, when dealing with a minor, will prevent (toll) the statute from ‘running’ until the minor turns 18 years of age. (the exact statute varies by state).  In dealing with the Court of Federal Claims, it is important to note that their statute of limitations supersedes that of the state and/or district courts.

Consequently, failure to file a Gardasil (or any vaccination) case with the Court within three years of the onset of injury could preclude that claim from ever being raised.  Furthermore, since a vaccination case must first be heard by the Court of Federal Claims before moving on to the ‘standard’ civil litigation found in state and/or district courts, failure to meet the Court of Federal Claims statute of limitations could result in the loss of your right to bring suit in either court.

Thus, it is imperative that parents whom suspect their child was harmed by a vaccine CONTACT an attorney right away to protect their rights.  Once again, simply stated, failure to file your Gardasil claim in accordance with the statute of limitations imposed by the Court of Federal Claims could preclude you from participating in future litigation against the vaccine manufacturer.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH GARDASIL?

Gardasil is a vaccine manufactured by Merck and Company which is given to young females between the ages of 11 and 26.  The vaccine is supposed to protect against the human papillomavirus, which is thought to be related to cervical cancer.  The problem with Gardasil is that a significant number of girls have suffered serious neurological and autoimmune problems after receiving the vaccine.  Examples of these side effects include seizures, multiple-sclerosis like symptoms, Guillain-Barré syndrome, ALS, acute transverse myelitis, motor neuron disease and demyelinating syndromes.  There are also reports of death (61 as of 200) resulting from Gardasil use.  The important fact is that females can obtain protection from cervical cancer by getting regular pap smears

Important Links:

National Vaccine Information Center

United States Court of Federal Claims

Health Resources and Services Administration-National Vaccine Compensation Program

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.