June 26, 2012 — A federal whistleblower lawsuit against Merck & Co. has been unsealed in a Pennsylvania court. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by two employees of Merck, who claim that the drug company hid evidence that its mumps vaccine had declined in effectiveness. The employees allege that Merck defrauded the U.S. government, which has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase the vaccine.
Two former Merck virologists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, filed the whistleblower lawsuit in 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. After it was filed, the U.S. Department of Justice began its own investigation. Two years later, the DOJ declined to take part in the lawsuit, and documents related to the case were unsealed and made public.
Merck cites the DOJ decision as added evidence that the whistleblower lawsuit is “completely without merit.” Merck has also continually stressed that the mumps vaccine has nothing to do with side effects or the safety of the vaccine. In a statement, company officials said, “It’s important to understand that none of the allegations in the complaint relate to the safety of M-M-R II and we remain confident that M-M-R II helps protect against measles, mumps and rubella as described in the labeling for the vaccine.”
The employees claim that the mumps vaccine has declined in effectiveness, and Merck defrauded the U.S. government by misleading them about the effectiveness of the vaccine. The employees are seeking damages equal to three times the damages incurred by the U.S. government, plus the maximum allowed to people who file whistleblower lawsuits.
The mumps vaccine is a routine childhood immunization recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Since the 1970s, it has primarily been used in conjunction with the rubella vaccine and measles vaccine, in the combined MMR vaccine. The vaccine prevents mumps, a viral disease that causes fever, headache, and swelling of the salivary glands. Due to the mumps vaccine, the disease is now very rare, although there were outbreaks in 2006 and 2009.
Do I have a Mumps Vaccine Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Mumps Vaccine Lawsuit review.