- Rockefeller Foundation Faces $1B Lawsuit for Intentionally Infecting People With Syphilis (Many Died)
A federal judge in Baltimore, Maryland made the decision to move forward in a $1 billion lawsuit against Johns Hopkins University, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation for the role in a 1940s U.S. Government experiment. The decision highlights the darker side to many of our modern medications.
The decision is for the 444 victims and their families who are suing those involved in an experiment in Guatemala that was kept hidden until 2010. The experiment was conducted to better understand the treatment and prevention of STDs, specifically focused on the effectiveness of the then-new drug penicillin.
When the test was uncovered by a professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, [then] President Barack Obama called the Guatemalan president personally to offer a sincere apology.
The lawsuit was first filed and dismissed last year, however, following the recommendation of U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis, the victims’ attorneys refiled. In order to do so, they were required to outline the events of the experiment including how and when the victims were experimented on, as well as the way in which it impacted their spouses, children, and grandchildren.
“We feel profound sympathy for the individuals and families impacted, and reiterate that this 1940’s study in Guatemala was funded and conducted by the U.S. Government, not by Johns Hopkins,” stated Hopkins spokeswoman Kim Hoppe in a statement from the University. “We will continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit.”