Dengvaxia case vs Sanofi, Zuellig moves to trial at QC court

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) found sufficient basis to move to trial the damage suit filed against officers of Dengvaxia maker Sanofi Pasteur Inc and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corporation.

QC RTC Branch 226 Presiding Judge Manuel Sta Cruz Jr dismissed the appeals of Sanofi and Zuellig.

The damage suit was filed by the kin of Abbie Hedia, whose death, her family is claiming, was caused by the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia. No scientific proof has been established to link the vaccine to the deaths. 

Sanofi disclosed that clinical trial found Dengvaxia could result in a more severe dengue syndrome for those who have not had dengue before.

The resolution is procedural at this point, with Branch 226 saying the complaints sufficiently stated a cause of action against the company officers.

“Hypothethically admitting the mentioned allegations together with other facts alleged in the complaint, the court may render a judgment upon the same,” the court said.

The complaints accuse Sanofi and Zuellig of risking public health by continuing the production of Dengvaxia despite red flags in the clinical trial stage. 

The complainants also noted that Sanofi and Zuellig had not made any offers of assistance to children whose deaths are being linked to the vaccine.

Sanofi officers Carlito Realuyo, Conchita Santos, Jazel Anne Calvo, and Pearl Grace Cabali have been directed to answer the damage suit within 5 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 said.

In March, the Department of Justice indicted for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide former health officials, including Janette Garin, who was at the helm of the Department of Health (DOH) when it implemented the mass immunization program. – Rappler.com