Zostavax Lawsuit 2019
The Shingles Vaccine Zostavax is all but harmless, at least according to the storm of lawsuits that recently hit many U.S. federal and state courts. A serious risk to public safety was, in fact, deliberately concealed by the manufacturer, who sold the shingles vaccine drug to countless unaware patients. Thousands who were injected with the shingles vaccine suffered from serious adverse reactions including nerve damage, paralysis, blindness or even contracted the same diseases they had to be protected against.
If you are among the unfortunate ones who had to deal with the tragic consequences of receiving a Zostavax shot, you have the right to sue the manufacturers for damage. Contact us now: we can help you find the best attorney available to fight this lawsuit on your side.
What Is Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?
In the United States, Merck is the sole manufacturer that in 2006 obtained the approval to market a shingles vaccine: Zostavax. Used to reduce the risk of shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), it is also prescribed to prevent and chickenpox (varicella). It contains an attenuated form of the herpes zoster (chickenpox) virus – a live, yet harmless form of the same microorganism that activates the reaction of the immune system.
The vaccine helps the body fight against those viruses that lay dormant inside the nervous system, preventing it from reawakening. A single shot reduces the risk of developing a shingle outbreak by slightly more than 50% for a total of 5 years. Although it is indicated for people aged 50 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only recommended it for patients over the age of 60.
Why are plaintiffs claiming that Zostavax is dangerous and starting lawsuits?
Zostavax is one Merck’s most sold drugs ever. With no rivals or alternatives to compete against, the medication earned the corporation $749 million in revenues over the course of a single year, in 2016. What the manufacturer “forgot” to mention to the public, however, was that Zostavax came with an inherent risk of causing the same conditions that it was supposed to prevent – shingles and chickenpox. Although this risk may seem negligible in normal patients, those whose immune system is compromised such as the elderly (to which the Zostavax vaccine is prescribed) are much more vulnerable than usual.
The consequences of this infection may be severe, and range from a highly contagious rash occurring on one side of the body associated with fever and pain, to other, much more serious side effects. The virus, may, in fact, threaten the very lives of the frailest subjects (once again: The elderly), and even cause permanent nerve damage, blindness, paralysis, meningitis, and even spinal cord inflammation. If you have suffered any side effects from Zostavax you may be entitled to start a lawsuit and sue the manufacturer.
Merck’s fraudulent behaviors and Zostavax adverse reactions for shingles patients
As of May 31, 2018, a review of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) found an outstanding total of 42,604 adverse reaction reports associated with shingles vaccine reactions. These reports included an alarming number of hospitalizations (850), disabilities (660) and even 128 deaths. The University of Missouri-Columbia also found a link between the Zostavax vaccine and a serious corneal inflammation (keratitis) which may lead to permanent blindness. Especially in patients aged 60 or more, Zostavax is an extremely dangerous substance that should be injected with great care. The drugmaker, however, never warned the public about these dangers, exposing millions to unnecessary risks and damages.
This is not the first time that Merck’s behavior is all but transparent, on the other hand. Back in 2010, two former company virologists, Joan A. Wlochowski and Stephen A. Krahling, filed a whistleblower lawsuit after running the safety and effectiveness tests for the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR). In their claim, they allege that the corporation fraudulently requested them to manipulate the results of the clinical trials to keep its American market share for the vaccines.
The Zostavax Multidistrict Litigation (MDL No. 2848)
Many patients who suffered the dire consequences of being injected with Zostavax, later decided to file a civil action lawsuit against Merck & Co. to seek monetary compensation. The manufacturer had the duty to thoroughly test the drug’s safety before releasing it to the general market, and is thus liable for any damage it might cause to the public. Plaintiffs allege that Merck voluntarily withheld precious information from the public regarding the alleged risks of the Zostavax vaccine, negligently designed and tested the product, and promoted it with a misleading and fraudulent campaign.
To speed up the litigation, on Aug. 2, 2018, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered the consolidation of 98 Zostavax lawsuits under the umbrella of a single product liability litigation, MDL number 2848. The cases will be centralized under the supervision of Honorable Judge Harvey Bartle III in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who already handled many mass torts and MDL cases. The order does not apply to the civil actions lawsuits issued by another 800 plaintiffs in New Jersey state court and 300 plaintiffs in California state court.
We can help you today
If you took Zostavax and developed the same conditions it was intended to prevent, or any other serious complication such as vision or hearing loss, permanent nerve damage or loss of balance, contact us today. We will help you find the right lawyer, start a lawsuit and sue the manufacturer to get the compensation you deserve.