A large number of lawsuits have been filed across the country that have called into question the safety and effectiveness of Merck’s shingles vaccine, the Zostavax. Since the vaccine was initially approved for use in 2006, a number of disturbing reports of serious side effects have emerged. Due to the number of lawsuits filed, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that the Zostavax lawsuits be consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) on August 2, 2018. This allows the cases to go through the initial phases of trial as a group resulting in efficiency and lower litigation costs. The cases will be heard in the United States District Court of Pennsylvania by Judge Harvey Bartle III. As of September 2018, there were 111 cases pending in MDL 2848 in Pennsylvania, and this number is expected to grow as injured patients continue to come forward and file Zostavax lawsuits.
What is the Zostavax Used to Treat?
The Zostavax was developed to prevent shingles outbreaks. Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection that is caused by the chicken pox virus. The virus causes inflammation of the nerves that can lead to painful bumps and blistering on the skin. This generally can last from a few weeks to a month, but can persist in certain cases. Symptoms of a shingles infection can include pain, itching or tingling of the skin, fever, headache, chills, and nausea. Other complications can include chronic nerve pain, loss of vision, hearing problems, brain inflammation, and ringing in the ears. Shingles most commonly effects people over the age of 50 and can be most dangerous to individuals with weakened immune systems.
Why is the Zostavax Dangerous?
The Zostavax was developed and aggressively marketed by Merck as being an effective way to prevent the shingles virus. Because it was the only vaccine of its kind from 2006 to 2017, Merck made considerable profits. However, large numbers of serious side effects have been reported in connection with the Zostavax. These include blindness, brain injuries, paralysis, liver damage, hearing loss, and the development of shingles or chicken pox. It has been claimed that the Zostavax is only effective in preventing shingles about half of the time. Many patients who have received the vaccine developed shingle-like symptoms right after it was administered, which has led many plaintiffs to allege in their Zostavax lawsuits that the vaccine can actually cause shingles. Many of these patients also claim that Merck failed to provide adequate warnings about the dangers the vaccine can pose. Unfortunately, many of the patients who suffered these side effects of the Zostavax vaccine already had weakened immune systems, which made the symptoms more severe.
Contact an Experienced Zostavax Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been given the Zostavax vaccine and experienced serious side effects, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. We work with experienced Zostavax lawyers across the country who are investigating these claims and may be able to file a Zostavax lawsuit on your behalf. There are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. Contact us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for your free (no obligation) case evaluation.