Deliver Your News to the World

Summit Health Doctor Administers Medically Improper HPV Vaccination To Infant, Sparking Parents’ Lawsuit

Union County, New Jersey – WEBWIRE

A Berkeley Heights, Union County, New Jersey couple pressed their suit for negligent infliction of emotional distress this week against their child’s pediatrician and her large medical office chain, Summit Health, after their baby was the victim of a serious medical error – she was improperly administered the HPV vaccine, which is intended to protect adolescents and adults from sexually transmitted disease, and which may prove dangerous to infants. The parents, Lauren and Patrick Flanagan, ages 37 and 39, say they are “devastated and shocked” by Summit Health’s failure to take any responsibility for its actions, instead attempting to dismiss the Flanagans’ claim in a recent court motion.

On December 6, 2022, the Flanagans brought their nine-month-old daughter to her pediatrician, Dr. Johanna Kaufman, at Summit Health Care Clinics in New Providence, N.J. for a routine check-up. The couple agreed to Dr. Kaufman’s recommendation that their infant daughter receive a flu shot. However, much to their distress, an unnamed nurse proceeded to instead inject their nine-month-old baby not with the requested influenza vaccine, but with the Gardasil vaccine, which is directed to the human papillomavirus—a sexually transmitted disease that manifests as genital warts and has been tied to cervical cancer.

When Dr. Johanna Kaufman informed the Flanagans that the error occurred, she blamed an unnamed nurse for having selected the wrong vaccine for the baby from a vaccine bin. The Gardasil vaccine has never been tested or authorized for use in babies.

The Flanagans, shocked, left the office with no meaningful guidance from Summit Health. Primarily through their own efforts, they subsequently learned that there are no studies identifying the side effects of Gardasil in babies, since the drug is not intended for them. In older recipients, the drug has caused severe side effects, including pain, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, bleeding, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, fainting, falling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other symptoms, according to the drug’s website.

Before commencing a legal proceeding, the Flanagans contacted Summit Health and asked for an explanation of the mistake, and that a corrective action plan be put in place to prevent other children and parents from experiencing similar trauma. They also sought, and were refused, a plan that would entitle their child to medical treatment if she ever develops complications from having been injected with Gardasil. When Summit Health refused to meaningfully engage with them, the Flanagans, through the law firm of Emmet, Marvin & Martin, LLP, brought suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Union County against Summit Health and Dr. Kaufman.

Summit Medical Group and Dr. Johanna Kaufman, through their attorneys, Schenck, Price, Smith, & King LLP, responded to the suit by making light of the Flanagans’ experience, claiming that: “No facts exist to support [the Flanagans’] claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress attributed to medical malpractice,” and that legal recovery was limited to “the observation of shocking events that do not occur in the daily lives of most people.”

The Flanagans disagree that their experience occurs in the “daily lives of most people,” stating that: “We want to protect other parents considering a visit to Summit Health. We expected that Summit would have had procedures and checklists in place to ensure that each patient gets the vaccine consented to and not a vaccine intended for someone else.” The Flanagans continue: “We don’t wish what happened to our family to happen to anyone else.”

Last January, Summit Health was acquired by VillageMD, a primary care provider backed by Walgreens and Cigna, in an $8.9-billion deal. Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm, has a large stake in the combined entity. The acquired entity has 680 locations in 256 national markets, according to a company press release.

The case is captioned “Lauren Flanagan and Patrick Flanagan v. Summit Medical Group, Johanna Kaufman, et al.” (Docket No. UNN-L-2329-23). The case is pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division: Union County.


 Medical Malpractice
 Summit Medical

This news content may be integrated into any legitimate news gathering and publishing effort. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.