Major Pharmaceutical Companies Sued in Oregon Courts
Class Action File on Behalf of All Vaccine Injured Children
July 11, 2001
Recently the Portland, Oregon law firm of Williams, Dailey, O'Leary, Craine & Love filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of a group of parents who allege that their children have been damaged by vaccines containing mercury. The families, allege that neurological damage, specifically Autism, resulted from overdoses of mercury in routine vaccinations that their children were given. This case has major impact, however, since it is also filed on behalf of the entire class of children who have been damaged by the mercury contained in vaccines.

According to Mike Williams, the attorney who represents the mercury damaged children and their families, "We have a complete decade of mercury overdose babies, and far too many with poisoned brains. The responsibility for this tragedy is shared by those who loaded and handled the poisoned syringes and the pharmaceutical industry who cut its costs by using mercury as a preservative in some vaccines despite numerous studies documenting the potential health threat, while many pediatricians failed to warn parents of the mercury inside the vaccines, its hazards and readily available alternative mercury-free vaccinations. These two groups knew that the multi-dose vials of vaccine contained mercury and knew they were increasing the mercury overdosing of our children as the number of overall vaccinations increased throughout the 90's. They exposed our children to mercury poisoning at the most critical and vulnerable stages of their brain's development."

The defendants in the case include:

  • Aventis Pasteur Inc.
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Merck and Company, Inc.
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • American Home Products, dba Wyeth, Wyeth Laboratories, Wyeth-Ayerst
  • Baxter International, Inc.
  • Eli Lilly Company, Inc.
  • Gallipot, Inc.
  • Integra Biosciences, Inc.
  • Medisca, Inc.
  • Meridian Chemical and Equipment, Inc.
  • Beverly Wittkopp, M.D., a pediatrician whose practice is in Oregon.
  • Also named were a number of "John Doe" corporations who may have formulated, manufactured, distributed, supplied or sold thimerosal.

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs, "were injected with a series of individual doses of between 12 and 25 micrograms of toxic mercury that with each injection exceeded U.S. Federal Government safety guidelines that no person should be exposed to more than 0.1 - 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. In the United States, with routine immunization, plaintiffs and other children in the plaintiff class would have received cumulative doses of 75 micrograms by the age of 3 months, 187.5 micrograms by the age of 6 months and 238 micrograms by the age of 24 months." These injections were given as part of the routine vaccination policies that are standard in the United States.

The plaintiffs in the case contend that physicians who administer vaccines containing Thimerosal (Mercury) have the responsibility to:

  • Warn parents that the vaccines routinely administered to their children contained the additional ingredient of mercury.
  • Warn parents that the mercury injected along with routine vaccinations exposed their children to levels of toxic mercury in excess of federal government safety guidelines.
  • Warn parents that exposure to toxic mercury could lead to neurological injury.
  • Inform parents of the availability of mercury-free vaccines.

In September 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy on mercury in vaccines that directed physicians to warn parents of the risks associated with thimerosal and to make available alternatives to thimerosal where available. The parents of the plaintiffs contend that this policy was not followed by the physicians who administered vaccines to their children.

The parents have also asked the court to order the defendants to establish a fund that would pay for an exhaustive, independent scientific study of all mercury overdosed babies and to provide for their ongoing medical care, evaluation, testing, diagnosis and treatment. The parents also ask that the court order the defendants to release all current documents, data, reports and research relevant to the mercury overdosing issue.

While previous reports on this case stated that approximately $30 million was being asked in the suit, Mr. Bob Lawrence, a representative of BS Ltd., which handles the media relations for the law firm, told me that no amount was named in the class action suit. He also told me that a separate personal injury, medical negligence, product liability suit had been filed by one family which is not part of the Class Action suit.

As these cases proceed through the courts, I will be keeping readers updated on the latest information and how the cases might impact the lives of the millions of Autistic and other mercury damaged children in whose behalf they were filed.