Government Guatemala Syphilis Testing Lawsuit
Hundreds of Guatemalans have filed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeking injunctive relief and damages. The plaintiffs claim that the defendants subjected them to inhuman, cruel, and degrading treatment by “deliberately” infecting them with syphilis in the 40’s. The plaintiffs, including Guatemalan prisoners, mentally ill individuals, orphans, and soldiers, filed the lawsuit in Washington after the US Government failed to reach out-of-court settlement.
The lawsuit claims that, between 1948 and 1964, the plaintiffs were infected with syphilis to test the efficacy of penicillin without their consent. The plaintiffs seek compensation from the US Government for the health problems suffered by them as a result of being subjected to medical tests. The lawsuit seeks action on behalf of all plaintiffs and other similarly situated persons who were subjected to non-consensual experimentation overseen by the defendants’ predecessor office holders. The plaintiffs bring this action against the defendants seeking equitable relief and damages.
The lawsuit, brought under the Alien Tort Statute, seeks compensation for the egregious violations committed against them. The plaintiffs claim that they are suffering from devastating results of the non-consensual human medical experimentation they were subjected to by the defendants.