Civil suit vs Sanofi, Zuellig Pharma over Dengvaxia mess to push through
MANILA, Philippines — The civil suit for damages filed against Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of the Dengvaxia vaccine, and its local distributor Zuellig Pharma will push through.
In an order by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 226 made public Wednesday, the motions to dismiss the case filed by the two companies was denied.
QC RTC Branch 226 Presiding Judge Manuel Sta. Cruz, Jr. said the complaint filed by the heirs of 13-year-old Abbie Hedia, sufficiently state a cause of action against the officers of the said companies.
The cause of action is a fact of facts that allows a person to take action against another individual, organization, or group. The inquiry is into the sufficiency, not the veracity of the allegations raised in the complaint.
Based on the complaint filed by relatives of Hedia, Sanofi manufactured the Dengvaxia vaccine despite it being unsafe since it was still in the clinical trial stage.
The complaint also stated that Sanofi failed to inform the public of risks of the product either through safety warnings, instructions, or indication of use or through product label.
The complainant said that even after reports of serious adverse and life-threatening reactions and reported deaths of Dengvaxia recipients, it offered no assistance to its supposed victims, even by way of medical attention.
The parents of Hedia narrated that before her vaccination, their daughter was healthy and active and seldom got sick.
They also blamed Zuellig for selling Dengvaxia for mass administration even though it is unsafe and has health risks.
“Hypothetically, admitting the mentioned allegations together with other facts alleged in the complaint, the court may render judgment upon the same,” the court ruled.
With the denial of their motions, the court ordered Sanofi and Zuellig Pharma to answer the suit within five days upon receipt of the order.
“The plaintiffs are directed to coordinate with the sheriff/process server of the Branch within 60 days from receipt of this order for service of summons to the other defendants,” the resolution read.
The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) has filed numerous criminal complaints before the Department of Justice and independent civil actions as well for damages before various Quezon City courts in connection with the Dengvaxia mess. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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