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Eagle Scout Alleges Gardasil HPV Vaccine Destroyed His Life
Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, PC
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Michael Colbath suffers from debilitating injuries after Gardasil vaccine

Eagle Scout Alleges Gardasil HPV Vaccine Destroyed His Life

Michael "Mike" Colbath was a very active kid who loved the outdoors, ran cross-country and excelled in academics. Disabled since 14, Mike suffers from life-altering injuries he alleges were caused by the Gardasil HPV vaccine.

San Diego, Calif., Jan. 21, 2021 -- Gardasil attorneys from the national law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman filed a lawsuit today on behalf of a 21-year-old San Diego man who alleges the HPV vaccine caused him to develop a constellation of debilitating and disabling injuries.

Nicole K. H. Maldonado, Bijan EsfandiariMichael L. Baum, and co-counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr filed the complaint today on behalf of plaintiff Mike Colbath in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The Gardasil lawsuit names as defendants Merck & Co. Inc. of New Jersey and subsidiary Merck Sharp & Dohm Corp., also of New Jersey. The case number is 3:21-cv-00120-W-DEB.

The complaint accuses Merck of negligence, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn of dangerous side effects related to its HPV vaccine, among other causes of action. The Gardasil attorneys representing Mike are also seeking punitive damages against Merck for allegedly making conscious decisions to not warn or inform the unsuspecting public about serious health risks associated with the vaccine.

"It is clear now that even after they paid billions in civil settlements and fines for causing a health disaster with Vioxx, Merck learned nothing," says attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. "Just like with Vioxx, Merck put Gardasil profits over patient safety and now countless children and young people are facing inescapable health issues. At a certain point, you have to ask – what's it going to take to stop this reckless disregard for their consumers?"

"Evidence suggests Merck committed scientific fraud during the Gardasil clinical trials and deceived the FDA before the vaccine was brought to market," says attorney Nicole K.H. Maldonado. "The deception continues to this day, as current vaccine safety and long-term efficacy assurances are based on clinical studies that were fraudulently designed and conducted to conceal safety risks."

Lawsuit Alleges Gardasil Caused POTS and Other Serious Injuries

Growing up, Mike Colbath led a very active life, including activities such as soccer, Boy Scouting, Tae Kwon Do, running cross-country, backpacking, and skiing.

He was an excellent student and an avid reader. He competed on robotics and academic teams. He played the sax in his school band.

Mike was an enthusiastic Boy Scout who rarely missed a meeting and worked very hard to achieve his goal of earning every merit badge. He developed into an expert outdoorsman on monthly camping adventures: backpacking trips to the desert and Sierras, canoeing the Colorado, snowshoeing and skiing. In service to his community, he raised service dogs for the disabled, was trained in first aid and practiced his skills in emergency preparedness. 

Everything dramatically changed for Mike after he received the Gardasil HPV vaccine at the age of 14. Mike's mother Kathy Colbath agreed to her son receiving Gardasil after years of relentless marketing from Merck, which presented Gardasil as a very safe vaccine to prevent anal and penile cancer in males. Advertising also affirmed that "good mothers" must vaccinate their teenagers with the Gardasil vaccine.

As a remarkable student-athlete, Mike was always filled with plenty of energy to carry him throughout his school day and the many activities he enjoyed. But in the months following his first injection of Gardasil, he began to have trouble staying awake for the latter part of the school day. He was exhausted and could barely keep his head up while sitting at his desk. He began to avoid the activities that he used to love due to his extreme fatigue.

The second injection of Gardasil yielded similar adverse reactions to the first. Mike initially felt a deep pain in his arm and shoulder, then in the weeks that followed, he developed severe foot pain in both feet. He started using crutches to walk but quickly became too weak to support himself.   

When it came time for his third injection, Mike's pediatrician felt that the severe foot pain may have been caused by the vaccine, so he did not administer the third shot.

Due to the injuries attributed to Gardasil, Mike could not walk unassisted at the time of his Eagle Project. He persevered through his ailments and, with the aid of a knee scooter, he was able to organize and lead a fencing project for San Elijo State Beach in San Diego County. This ambitious project enabled him to earn his Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.

As months progressed, so too did Mike's injuries. He was seen by multiple physicians and specialists for his complaints which now included: migraine headaches; body pains and muscle aches; chronic fatigue; hypersomnolence (sleeping 15-22 hours in a 24-hour period), sleep drunkenness, unrefreshing sleep; excessive sweating, lightheadedness, and tachycardia; tunnel vision on standing; difficulty with concentration and memory; confusion and brain fog; intermittent or episodic paralysis, numbness; and stomach pains.

Mike's post-Gardasil injuries kept him from engaging in activities that a normal teenager would enjoy. He missed the majority of high school and had to complete most schoolwork at home. Though Mike earned acceptance into the University of California San Diego (UCSD) as a data science major, he can only take a class or two at a time and requires special accommodations to accomplish his education. 

After trying dozens of therapies and medications, Mike is currently taking a daily regimen of 10 medications. He is only able to walk about 500 steps per day, a far cry from the active outdoor lifestyle he enjoyed as a youth. Now a disabled adult, Mike is faced with a new reality; he will not be able to hold down a normal job or participate in the same activities that he once did before his Gardasil-induced injuries.

Mike's clinical diagnoses include Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Idiopathic Hypersomnia (IH), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (ME / CFIDS), Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and Gastroparesis.

Mike's mother and primary caregiver, Kathy, is deeply saddened and angry over her son's life being destroyed by the Gardasil vaccine.

"I am so grateful for the life we had with Mike before his first Gardasil shot. We were always outdoors, going on adventures and having fun. Mike was fully vaccinated without issues until Gardasil. When a dangerous product like Gardasil is allowed to remain on the market, it threatens the integrity of other products and the faith we have in them. Fast tracking vaccines should only be allowed for emergency situations. Merck should never have exploited the FDA fast tracking process that allowed them to skip important safety testing protocols for a vaccine to prevent a rare cancer that doesn't affect most men until their sixties. Every day because of Merck, I wake to the reality of the life my son can never lead."

Mike's life was turned upside down by Gardasil.

"So many of the things I loved to do in life were impossible after I was injured by the Gardasil vaccine at 14. Now every morning I wake up feeling as though I am underwater, every muscle slowly trying to respond to the commands I give them. Eventually, I struggle enough to sit up. I reach over and take my medication sitting on my nightstand. After a few hours, I am able to get up and walk the five steps to my desk."

With this lawsuit, we seek answers to what Merck knew about dangerous side effects of their Gardasil vaccine.

Did you know…

I would never run cross-country in high school?

Did you know…

I would never again backpack the Sierra's with my family and friends?

Did you know…

I would never dance at my sister's wedding?

Did you know…

I will never again experience the joy of waking to a body that responds to my commands?

Well Merck, did you know?  

Attorneys for Mike allege Gardasil caused him to develop these and other serious injuries and ailments. Per the complaint, the Gardasil HPV vaccine has more reported injuries than any other vaccine on the market. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has paid out millions of dollars in damages for Gardasil-induced injuries and deaths. Despite the high volume of reported adverse events, Gardasil remains the most expensive vaccine currently on the market.

About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman

Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman represents hundreds of people throughout the U.S. who sustained serious injuries after receiving the Gardasil vaccine. The firm has filed several Gardasil lawsuits over the last year on behalf of young men and women whose lives were turned upside down by vaccine injuries, including POTS and is preparing many more.

People injured by the Gardasil vaccine can sue Merck, according to The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which provides that an individual may bring a civil lawsuit under certain circumstances, and if such lawsuit is in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The person first must file a petition in Vaccine Court and either wait the required number of days for the petition to be resolved or await the Court's judgment and then elect to opt out from Vaccine Court or reject the Judgment and file a lawsuit in civil court against Merck.

Since 1973, Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has won over $4 billion in settlements and verdicts on behalf of clients across a wide variety of practice areas, including pharmaceutical product liability. In addition to the Gardasil litigation, Baum Hedlund was at the forefront of the Roundup cancer litigation against Monsanto (Bayer) and served on the only trials against the weed killer manufacturer. The last trial resulted in a verdict of $2 billion for the plaintiffs and one of Baum Hedlund's senior shareholders also recently helped negotiate the $10.9 billion settlements for over 100,000 Roundup cancer plaintiffs.

Our firm wishes to stress that we are not against vaccines. They have the potential to eradicate disease and save millions of lives. We are, however, against intentional efforts to mislead consumers about the safety and effectiveness of a drug or vaccine. Our firm has always fought—and will continue to fight—for the rights of consumers to be fully and honestly informed about risks associated with any drug, vaccine, chemical, medical device, or consumer product. We will work tirelessly to ensure those rights are defended and victims of injustice are compensated for their injuries. Gardasil makes good vaccines look bad.

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Robin McCall
Title: Media Relations Director
Group: Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman
Dateline: Los Angeles, CA United States
Direct Phone: 310-207-3233
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