Do You Need Help with a Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit in 2022?
If you or a loved one received the shingles vaccine Zostavax only to later develop shingles or other serious adverse effects, you may be eligible to participate in the Zostavax lawsuit.
For more than half a century, the accomplished personal injury attorneys of Gerling Law have fought passionately to help their clients who have been harmed through no fault of their own and deserve compensation for their injuries.
Contact Gerling Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our knowledgeable Zostavax vaccine lawyers. We will thoughtfully listen to your story and evaluate the details of your case to determine whether we can help you. If so, we will zealously represent you by holding the pharmaceutical companies accountable for the damage they caused and help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.
What Is Zostavax?
Zostavax is one of two shingles vaccines, the other being Shingrix. Zostavax is manufactured by Merck & Co. and received the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval in 2006. Zostavax contains a live version of the varicella-zoster virus that causes both chickenpox and shingles.
Zostavax was recommended for people 50 years of age and older but was most effective in those 60 years of age and above due to their suppressed immune systems. The vaccine was meant to reduce the risk of shingles, postherpetic neuralgia, and prevent chickenpox.
What Makes Zostavax Unsafe?
Zostavax can cause, or worsen, shingles instead of preventing it. Because there is a live version of the virus in the vaccine, the vaccine is intended to strengthen the immune system by causing it to fight the virus. However, those who received Zostavax and suffered adverse effects, such as developing shingles, said that the Zostavax warning label did not adequately warn of those effects.
In 2014, the FDA required an update to the Zostavax warning label to clarify this. Shingles was added as one of the possible side effects after numerous reports of individuals developing shingles after being vaccinated. In 2017, the CDC began recommending that doctors use Shingrix instead of Zostavax and even recommended that those who received Zostavax also be vaccinated with Shingrix. Shingrix remains the recommended shingles vaccine.
Adverse Effects Of Zostavax
The adverse effects are not limited to shingles. Patients who have filed Zostavax lawsuits included one or more complaints of the following injuries:
- Itchiness (pruritus)
- Highly contagious rash occurring on one side of the body associated with fever and pain
- Muscle and joint pain
- Hematoma (unusual bruising and swelling)
- Pulmonary edema (fluid buildup around the lungs)
- Hearing loss
- Cardiovascular problems
- Myelitis (inflammation or damage of spinal cord)
- Brain inflammation
- Nerve pain
- Permanent nerve damage
- Bell’s Palsy
- Congestive heart failure
Additionally, the vaccine has been linked to eye damage and even blindness. A 2013 study published in the medical journal Cornea described a case in which a 63-year-old man experienced a reactivation of his keratitis after having the Zostavax vaccine. A 2010 study reported the similar experience of a 50-year-old woman who endured the worsening of her keratitis after being vaccinated with Zostavax. Both were within the correct age range to receive the shot.
The linkage between Zostavax and serious eye problems became so severe that the FDA required the Zostavax warning to be updated again in February 2016, this time to include necrotizing retinitis. Necrotizing retinitis is an eye disorder where the eye is in an inflammatory state. In a 2011 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers reported on two case studies of the Zostavax vaccine leading to retinal necrosis.
The FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System relayed a total of 42,604 adverse reaction reports related to Zostavax. The reports consisted of 850 hospitalizations, 660 disabilities, and 128 deaths.
Joining The Zostavax Lawsuit
The first Zostavax lawsuits were filed in 2016. In August 2018, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation accepted a motion by Merck & Co. to consolidate Zostavax cases pending in federal courts. A Zostavax Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL, was created and assigned to the U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In April 2020, there were around 1300 cases already filed in the Zostavax MDL.
Judge Bartle has divided Zostavax cases in the MDL into two groups: Group A, which consists of shingles related developments after receiving the Zostavax vaccination, and Group B, composed of non-shingles related developments after receiving the Zostavax vaccination. Both bellwether groups will be tried over the next one to two years with the results illuminating the value of settling for future Zostavax cases.
The Zostavax lawsuit claims that:
- Zostavax can cause serious injury and even death.
- The defendants failed to warn consumers of the possible adverse health risks associated with Zostavax.
- The defendants intentionally, willfully and knowingly misrepresented the safety of Zostavax.
If you suffered serious adverse health effects from receiving the Zostavax vaccine, you could be facing extensive medical treatment. The cost of your treatment could easily range into (or beyond) hundreds of thousands of dollars. You deserve fair compensation for your treatment costs, lost income, and other damages you sustained as a result of taking the vaccine.
Even if you haven’t yet been diagnosed with any adverse effect, you may still have the right to recover compensation due to the manufacturer’s failure to warn of the drug’s potential harm. Contact us today to discuss joining the Zostavax multidistrict litigation.
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What's The First Step?
If you or a loved one has been injured by any of the above adverse effects or symptoms from a Zostavax vaccine, you may have a claim against Merck & Co.. You should contact your physician promptly to address any needed medical treatment -- not only for your health but to also begin building your case.
The next step is familiarizing yourself with the civil litigation process so that you will know what to expect in a Zostavax lawsuit. You will also want to gather evidence to support your claim against Merck & Co. Evidence can be medical bills or any other bills associated with your damages, voicemails and text messages (for example, a printed text message from your boss allowing you unpaid time off of work due to your damages), and any personal or witness testimony. The more evidence you have, the more your Zostavax lawyer can help you.
Then comes the most important step toward entering a Zostavax lawsuit aside from taking care of your health: contacting a Zostavax lawyer who will be able to effectively and aggressively fight for you.
Gerling Law's staff of attorneys, paralegals, and case support personnel are extraordinarily skilled at providing the focused, personal attention that your lawsuit deserves. Your lawyer will review your work history, medical history, and other facts pertinent to your case and advise you on your eligibility to participate in a Zostavax lawsuit. Contact Gerling Law today for a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.
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