500 Australians Join World’s First COVID Vaccine Injury Class Action Lawsuit


Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D. | The Defender – TRANSCEND Media Service

Dr. Melissa McCann raised more than $110,000 to crowdfund the case, which accuses the Australian government of negligence related to the approval and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines.

27 Apr 2023 – At least 500 Australians have already joined a “landmark” COVID-19 vaccine injury class action lawsuit filed this week against the Australian government and the medicines regulator seeks redress for those allegedly injured or left bereaved by the COVID-19 vaccines.

The suit accuses the Australian government, the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Department of Health and Aged Care, and a number of senior public servants of negligence related to the approval and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines, breach of statutory duty and misfeasance in public office.

The action was filed in the Federal Court of Australia, New South Wales Registry.

According to the lawsuit, the respondents approved the vaccines “with no proper or reasonable evidentiary or logical basis to reasonably determine the Vaccines to be safe, effective and possessing a positive risk-benefit profile.”

Natalie Strijland, the litigator who filed the suit, said in a statement:

“The action will argue that the Therapeutic Goods Administration did not fulfil their duty to properly regulate the Covid-19 vaccines, resulting in considerable harm and damage to Australians.”

The suit alleges the government “acted negligently in approving the vaccines and also by failing to withdraw them” based upon the “known evidence” of risk.

“Australians who have experienced a serious adverse event following Covid-19 vaccination are invited to step forward and register for this class action,” Strijland said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Aged Care said that the department “is aware” of the lawsuit and that “as the matter is before the court it is not appropriate to comment further.

Class actions provide “a path to justice” for people who may not have the resources to file a court claim on their own, said Alison Bevege, a journalist who has written for Reuters and Daily Mail, in an April 26 Substack post.

Those injured by COVID-19 vaccines have been “ignored, denied, belittled and marginalised,” Bevege added.

Australian doctor crowdsourced $110,000 to bring class action suit

Dr. Melissa McCann, a general practioner who also holds a Graduate Certificate of Allergic Diseases, raised more than $110,000 to crowdfund the case.

Commenting on the lawsuit, McCann tweeted:

According to McCann, the class action suit was necessary because Australia’s federal vaccine injury compensation program — the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme — was “not fit for purpose” and had left many vaccine-injured Australians “abandoned with no support” after being promised “fair and accessible” compensation.

Services Australia as of April 12 had received 3,501 applications and paid 137 claims totaling more than $7.3 million, with 2,263 claims still in progress and 696 deemed not payable, news.com.au reported.

By comparison, the U.S. government, as of April 1, approved its first three payments to people injured by COVID-19 vaccines — amounting to a total of $4,634.89. Since the start of the pandemic, Americans claiming injuries related to COVID-19 vaccines and other countermeasures submitted 11,425 requests for compensation.

McCann earlier in February told “crowded halls filled with thousands of Australians” of how TGA and its leadership concealed fatal vaccine-induced myocarditis from the public, noted Peter McCullough, M.D., MPH, a board-certified cardiologist and internist.

“TGA had determined that several young previously healthy children died of COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis. Redacted letters from the TGA to McCann indicated these facts and an admission of willful concealment,” McCullough said.

‘I’d never known what a heart attack would feel like’

Among those represented in the lawsuit is Melbourne teacher Gareth O’Gradie, a previously healthy father of two who before he got his first Pfizer shot in July 2021, was into running, footy, cricket and tennis.

“Six days after [the vaccination] I had sudden-onset chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sweats,” he told World Freedom Alliance. “I’d never known what a heart attack would feel like, but that’s the type of thing I expected.”

O’Gradie, 41, was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with vaccine-induced pericarditis. He said:

“In the end I had open heart surgery to remove the pericardium, which had become inflamed and stuck to my heart. It’s extreme.

“All the heads of different departments, cardiology, rheumatology, cardiothoracic, all had conferences to say, ‘We’ve tried this, what is the next step for this recurrent pericarditis we can’t control the pain for?’ It wasn’t an easy decision.

“They said, ‘Nothing’s working — this is what we can offer.’”

O’Gradie — who said he is “pro-science” and has never been “anti-vaccine” — believes the government provided “misinformation about the safety” of the vaccines.

“There was a lot of, you know, ‘We need to not scare the public as part of the vaccine rollout, so let’s not publicise these things,” he told news.com.au. “There was a large, intentional withholding of information — that doesn’t give people informed consent.”


Suzanne Burdick, Ph.D., is a reporter and researcher for The Defender based in Fairfield, Iowa. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2021), and a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University (2015). Her scholarship has been published in Health Communication. She has taught at various academic institutions in the United States and is fluent in Spanish.

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