MANILA - The Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has found sufficient basis to take action on the lawsuit against officers of Dengvaxia maker Sanofi Pasteur Inc and distributor Zuellig Pharma Corporation.
In an order released Monday, Quezon City RTC Branch 226 presiding judge Manuel B. Sta. Cruz, Jr. denied the motion to dismiss the case filed by officials of Sanofi and Zuellig Pharma.
The case was filed by the family of Abbie Hedia, whose death, her parents claim, was by the Dengvaxia vaccine she received.
Hedia died on February 10, 2018.
"Hypothetically admitting the mentioned allegations together with other facts alleged in the complaint, the court may render a judgment upon the same," the court said in the order.
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.
Sanofi earlier disclosed that the vaccine can trigger more severe symptoms for those who have not had dengue, prompting the government to stop the sale of Dengvaxia and its use in the state immunization drive.
In February, the Food and Drug Administration permanently revoked the certificate of product registration (CPR) of Dengvaxia, which has been blamed for a slump in immunization rates.
Authorities have disagreed publicly over whether Dengvaxia could have contributed to the deaths of several children.
The issue spawned a drop in immunization coverage in the country to 40 percent last year, from an average 70 percent in recent years.
Former president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and several of his Cabinet secretaries were charged in 2018 with plunder, malversation and graft before the Office of the Ombudsman for their involvement in the Dengvaxia program.