June 26, 2012 — Two former employees of Merck & Co. have filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Merck overstated the effectiveness of its mumps vaccine, which the U.S. government has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to buy. Merck says that the lawsuits is “completely without merit,” noting that the U.S. Department of Justice failed to find fault with the drug-maker after a two-year investigation.
The whistleblower lawsuit was filed in 2010 by two former Merck virologists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski. They alleged that Merck hid information that the mumps vaccine had become less effective, and therefore defrauded the U.S. government, which has purchased the vaccine for the last 10 years. The employees claim that the vaccine was actually less effective than Merck claimed.
The lawsuit was recently made public after the Department of Justice concluded their two-year investigation by declining to participate in the case. It was initially filed in 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The mumps vaccine was first introduced 45 years ago, but it is now usually sold in combination with the measles vaccine and rubella vaccine, called the MMR vaccine. The CDC recommends this vaccine for most children during childhood. It prevents the mumps disease, which is a highly contagious viral infection that causes swelling of the salivary glands, fever, and headache. Since use of the vaccine has become widespread, the incidence of mumps is very rare, although there were outbreaks in 2006 and 2009.
Merck stresses that this whistleblower lawsuit has nothing to do with the safety of the mumps vaccine. “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 company said.
Do I have a Mumps Vaccine Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting mumps vaccine injury claims in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by the mumps vaccine, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Vaccine Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.
Free Case Evaluation
The Schmidt Firm, LLP has been recognized as one of the nation's leading plaintiff's law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firms reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.
No matter what type of case you have, you may contact us with confidence by filling out the email contact form below or calling us directly by dialing toll free 24 hrs/day (866) 920-0753.