Quezon City courts decide to consolidate cases against Dengvaxia maker, distributor

Published June 3, 2019, 7:30 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Chito Chavez

 Several Quezon City courts have concurred in with the position of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to have a consolidated civil case for damages against French drugmaker Sanofi Pharmaceutical, Inc. and its distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp. in connection with the deaths of several children due to the Dengvaxia vaccine shots.

The Dengvaxia vaccine shots were administered supposedly as a deterrent against the dengue ailment.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 84 Judge Luisito Cortez, in two separate orders, granted the motions to consolidate the cases filed by the parents of Shiela Mae Guerra and Aejay Bautista.

“In the motion for consolidation, the plaintiff alleged, among others, that the instant complaint arose from the same series of events, involves identical issues in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 226. In addition, the consolidation for the trial of the instant case of similar nature arising from the same series of events and to be proven by substantially the same evidence, a situation that is inimical to the orderly administration of justice,” one of the orders read.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 104 Judge Catherine Manondon also granted the motions for consolidation filed by the kin of Trishanne Casona, et al.; Vicente Arugay, et al.; Kianah Mae Racuya, et al., and Christine Mae de Guzman, et al. through the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

Judge Rafael Hipolito of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 also directed the transfer of the civil complaints filed by the heirs of Gilliane Rosal Vasquez, et al., and Micaella Kayla Mainit, et al. to Branch 226.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 100 Judge Editha Mina Aguba also allowed the consolidation of case filed by the parents of Annaliza Silverio as well as Branch 220 Judge Jose Paneda in favor of the heirs of Christine Joy Asuncion.

Judge Madonna Echiverri of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 also allowed the transfer of the case filed by the parents of Adeline Castroverde to Branch 226 for the promotion of an efficient dispensation of justice.

Last May, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 226 Judge Manuel Sta. Cruz Jr. denied Sanofi and Zuellig’s motions to dismiss the civil case filed by the kin of Abbie Hedia, a 13-year-old student who died of septic shock on Feb. 10, 2018, after receiving Dengvaxia vaccine shots.

“Hypothetically admitting the mentioned allegations together with other facts alleged in the complaint, the court may render judgment upon the same,” the court order read.

PAO said, “thus, the consolidation of the instant case, with other similar Dengvaxia cases, is desirable to expedite the hearing of the cases, and to avoid confusion, conflicting ruling, and unnecessary costs entailed with a multiplicity of suits as the two cases involve common questions of facts and law.”