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Timeline of the First Zostavax Trials

July 2021 — The second trial for Group B is scheduled to begin around July 2021. May 2021 — The first trial in the Group B Bellwether Trial is scheduled to begin around May 2021. March 2021 — The third trial for Group A is scheduled to begin around March. Additionally, the court is scheduled to select two cases from Group B that will go to trial by March 2021. November 2020 — The first trial in the Group A Bellwether Trial is scheduled to begin around November 2020.  The amount of cases in the Zostavax MDL is now over 1,800. January 2021 — The second trial for Group A is scheduled to begin around January 2021. May 29, 2020 — 4 cases were to be selected for the Group B Bellwether Trial by May 29, 2020.  The court is scheduled to select two cases that will go to trial by March 2021, and the first trial should begin around May 2021.  The second is scheduled to begin around July 2021. May 15, 2020 — Judge Bartle ordered that the core fact discovery for Group B’s eight selected cases be completed by May 15, 2020. April 2020 — There are estimated to be around 1300 cases already filed in the Zostavax MDL. December 2019 — Judge Bartle has ordered that eight cases from Group B should have been selected to undergo core fact discovery by December 2019. November 29, 2019 — Judge Bartle ordered that after the core fact discovery of the initial sixteen cases from Group A, six will be selected to be a part of Group A’s Bellwether Trial by November 29, 2019. July 2019 — After Merck & Co. refused to turn over records on all “adverse events reports” which could indicate its guilt, plaintiffs filed a motion to compel.  Judge Bartle granted the motion, allowing the plaintiffs their first victory and access to the reports in trial. May 31, 2019 — Judge Bartle has ordered that sixteen cases from Group A should have been selected to undergo core fact discovery by May 31, 2019. August 2018 — A Zostavax Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) was created in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and assigned to the U.S. District Judge Harvey.  This followed a motion by Merck & Co. to consolidate the Zostavax cases pending in federal courts, which the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved. 2016 — The first Zostavax lawsuits began to be filed against Merck & Co., claiming that the vaccination caused unforeseen side effects or effects that Merck & Co. failed to warn about. Reference: Miller, Ronald V. “Shingles Lawsuit October 2020 Update: Federal Court Trials on Tap.” Maryland Injury Lawyer Blog, 29 Oct. 2020, www.marylandinjurylawyerblog.com/zostavax-lawsuit-update.html.

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Merck & Co. Ordered to Disclose Internal Emails In Zostavax Lawsuit

December 23, 2020 — Judge Harvey Bartle ruled that all but part of one of the 22 documents in dispute were not shielded by the attorney-client privilege.  Accordingly, Merck & Co. is required to disclose internal emails about potential changes to the label of Zostavax, which could reveal its knowledge of the adverse effects its vaccine was causing long before it actually made the label change in 2014. Reference: Pierson, Brendan. “Merck Must Turn over Emails in Zostavax MDL, despite Claims of Privilege.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 24 Dec. 2020, www.reuters.com/article/health-zostavax/merck-must-turn-over-emails-in-zostavax-mdl-despite-claims-of-privilege-idUSL1N2J41FA.

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Zostavax Required to Warn About Retinal Necrosis

February 2016 — Because of reports of serious eye problems, specifically retinal necrosis, following the Zostavax vaccine, Merck & Co. was required to change the warning to include retinal necrosis. Reference Reference:  Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Approved Products – Zostavax.” Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722150959/https:/www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodvaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm136941.htm.

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Zostavax Required To Add Shingles To Side Effects

August 2014 — A label change was required by the FDA to include shingles as a possible side effect after numerous reports of the vaccination causing shingles. Reference: Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Zostavax.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/zostavax.

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Man Experiences Keratitis After Zostavax

2013 — The medical journal Cornea describes a case in which a 63-year-old man experienced a reactivation of his keratitis after having the Zostavax vaccine. References: Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Approved Products – Zostavax.” Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722150959/https:/www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm136941.htm. Hwang, Charles W, et al. “Reactivation of Herpes Zoster Keratitis in an Adult After Varicella Zoster Vaccination.” Cornea, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23187165.

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Zostavax Changes Label to Treat Individuals Aged 50-59

March 2011 — A label change was required by the FDA to include data supporting use for individuals from the ages of 50-59. Reference: Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Approved Products – Zostavax.” Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722150959/https:/www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm136941.htm.

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Zostavax Leads to Retinal Necrosis

2011 — A study published in JAMA Ophthalmology reveals that Zostavax vaccine likely leads to retinal necrosis. References: Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Approved Products – Zostavax.” Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722150959/https:/www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm136941.htm. Charkoudian, Leon D. “Acute Retinal Necrosis After Herpes Zoster Vaccination.” Archives of Ophthalmology, JAMA Network, 1 Nov. 2011, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/1106674.

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Woman Experiences Worse Keratitis After Zostavax

2010 — A 50-year-old woman endured the worsening of her keratitis after being vaccinated with Zostavax. References: Zostavax.” Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722150959/https:/www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodvaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm136941.htm. Khalifa, Yousuf M. “Exacerbation of Zoster Interstitial Keratitis After Zoster Vaccination in an Adult.” Archives of Ophthalmology, JAMA Network, 1 Aug. 2010, www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/426103.

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Zostavax Approved by FDA

May 2006 — Zostavax was approved by the FDA for patients 60 and older. Reference: Reference:  Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Zostavax.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/zostavax.

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