Court junks Garin’s plea to dismiss vaccine raps

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    A QUEZON city court yesterday junked the plea of former health secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin seeking the dismissal of the damage suit filed against her by a parent whose child died after being vaccinated by the controversial anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

    Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 230 Judge Maria Gilda Loja-Pangilinan dismissed Garin’s contention that it has no jurisdiction to hear the case since none of the parties reside in the city.

    In her ruling, Loja-Pangilinan said the complainant, Ian Colite, has the prerogative to choose the venue to file her complaint. Colite sought legal action against Garin after he lost his son in December 2017 after being inoculated with Dengvaxia.

    “The Court finds the venue properly laid out by the complainant when he chose to file it in this Court by reason of residence of one of the impleaded defendants which he considers as a principal defendant,” the ruling said, referring to Zuellig which is the local distributor of the vaccine.

    Dengvaxia was made by the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

    As to the lack of action as alleged by Garin, the court said it found the complaint sufficient to proceed with the trial.

    “The Court finds the allegation in the complaint sufficient to constitute a cause of action,” it ruled.

    Garin can appeal the ruling within 15 days