Merck to Face Growing Number of Zostavax Lawsuit Claims

By USClaims

zostavax lawsuitMerck & Co., an established top global player in the pharmaceutical market, faces a multitude of Zostavax lawsuit claims (MDL 2848 Request for Consolidation) regarding the drug which is supposed to prevent shingles in older adults. The consolidation was approved for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Merck & Co., generates some $42 billion dollars in revenues per year in the United States, although the company began as a drug store in Darmstadt, Germany in 1668. A Merck U.S. subsidiary became active in the U.S. in 1891, then in 1917 Merck became an independent American company.

What is Shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection which typically causes a rash on the side of the face or body and usually affects those over the age of 50. Shingles can occur anywhere on the body, although it generally manifests as a single stripe of blisters wrapping around one side of the torso. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox—the varicella-zoster virus. Those adults who had chickenpox as a child have the virus in their body, lying dormant in nerve tissues near the spinal cord and brain. Many years later, the dormant virus can reactivate as shingles. Shingles is not life-threatening however can be extremely painful, causing tingling, numbness, burning, pain, sensitivity to touch, fluid-filled blisters which can break open, severe itching, fatigue, headache, fever and sensitivity to light. If you or a loved one suffered from side effects following a Zostavax shingles vaccine shot, you may be entitled to receive compensation in a Zostavax lawsuit. USClaims can help cover your both medical bills and day-to-day expenses while your case settles in court.

Zostavax—A Vaccine for Shingles—Found to Cause Shingles

Zostavax, a vaccine for shingles, was introduced to the public in 2006, with claims that the drug could help those receiving the vaccine avoid shingles. Several years later, however, consumers began submitting adverse event reports to the FDA, and in 2014, the agency required Merck to add a warning label to Zostavax that warned consumers the vaccine could not only cause chickenpox, it could potentially cause the very thing it is marketed as protecting individuals from—shingles. The FDA asked Merck for another label change to warn those taking Zostavax that the vaccine could potentially cause necrotizing retinitis—an extremely serious eye disease.

In fact, according to the authors of a Health Sciences Institute article in January 2016, UCLA researchers found that only one in 175 people who received the Zostavax vaccine would avoid a shingles flare-up. Other—even more serious—issues associated with Zostavax included:

  • Cardiovascular issues;
  • Congestive heart failure;
  • Autoimmune disorders;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Spinal cord inflammation;
  • Inflammation of the brain;
  • Stroke;
  • Vasculitis;
  • Stroke, and
  • Death

Did Merck Exhibit a Failure to Warn?

Many patients who received the Zostavax injection subsequently filed product liability claims against Merck, alleging the company produced and sold an “unreasonably dangerous vaccine” which caused serious injury, and that, instead of preventing shingles as it was specifically marketed to do, it the vaccine caused many plaintiffs to “contract a persistent strain of herpes zoster,” resulting in pain and the necessity of hospital visits. The claims state that Merck knew—or should have known—that the vaccine was not safe, therefore the most common allegations include: negligence, defective design, breach of express and implied warranties, failure to warn, unjust enrichment and misrepresentation involving risk of physical harm.

173 Zostavax Lawsuit Claims Must be Re-Filed Following Dismissal

In Zostavax Products Liability Litigation, E.D. Pa., MDL No. 2848, Civil Action No. 2:18-md-02848-HB, many were surprised to hear that 173 claims against Merck were very recently dismissed by the Judge in the case, who stated the claims were “full of boilerplate language, unrelated to the individual case, and is the antithesis of how a proper federal complaint should be drafted.” The Judge ordered that re-filed, amended complaints not exceed 40 pages. This will certainly stretch out the amount of time it will take for plaintiffs to have their claim against Merck make it to court.

Helping Clients Who Have Suffered a Zostavax Injury

Clients who have been injured as the result of receiving a Zostavax vaccine could find themselves with serious injuries and medical expenses they are unable to pay. These clients may also be unable to work because of the serious nature of the Zostavax injuries. USClaims can help your clients pay both their medical expenses and their regular, day-to-day expenses related to a Zostavax lawsuit in anticipation of a court judgment or settlement. Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.