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September 21, 2018

Zostavax Lawsuits Continue to Mount

Zostavax lawsuits continue to flood the nation’s court systems as more individuals discover that the manufacturer continued marketing and selling the defective shingles vaccine despite knowing that it could cause serious injuries.

Marian and Richard Pearson filed the lawsuit earlier this month in the Western District of Louisiana.

According to the complaint, Marian Pearson received the Zostavax vaccine July 19, 2014, as part of her routine health maintenance to prevent shingles. However, the patently defective and dangerous vaccine caused painful injuries and damages that necessitated extensive medical care and treatment.

“The vaccine did not prevent shingles, but rather caused plaintiff Marian Pearson to contract a persistent strain of herpes zoster,” the lawsuit states. “Shortly after receiving defendants’ Zostavax vaccine, plaintiff Marian Pearson suffered from a severe right facial nerve axonopathy and was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.”

The Zostavax vaccine received FDA approval in 2006. However, Pearson alleges that Merck knew that the vaccine was dangerous but failed to notify federal regulators, patients, and the medical community.

“Merck failed to exercise due care in the labeling of Zostavax and failed to issue to consumers and/or their health care providers adequate warnings as to the risk of serious bodily injury, including viral infection, resulting from its use,” the lawsuit states.

The Pearsons’ complaint joins a rapidly growing number of similar Zostavax lawsuits from individuals nationwide who never received any warning about the defective and dangerous nature of the shingles vaccine.

Zostavax Lawsuits Background

According to the Pearson’s lawsuit, as of July 2012, the patient information sheet, label, and prescribing information for the Zostavax vaccine contained no clear reference to the substantial risks for viral infections. Furthermore, Merck continued to manufacture and market the product despite knowing that the vaccine posed a serious risk of bodily harm to recipients.

"Merck downplayed the serious and dangerous side effects of its product to encourage sales of the product; consequently, Merck placed its profits above its customers’ safety,” the lawsuit states. “Although Merck knew…of the defective nature of its Zostavax vaccine, it continued to design, manufacture, market, and sell its product without providing adequate warnings and instructions concerning the use of its product so as to maximize sales and profits at the expense of the public health and safety, in knowing, conscious, and deliberate disregard of the foreseeable harm caused by its Zostavax vaccine.”

The label and prescribing information, as well as the patient information sheet for Zostavax failed to address the viral infection risks.

“All that was addressed is the concern that a rash and itching might develop at the injection site,” the Pearsons stated. “This is despite the fact that shingles was a noted occurrence during clinical trials of the vaccine.”

In addition to Marian Pearson’s injuries, the couple said they have incurred and will continue to incur medical expenses and other substantial economic harm as a direct result of using Zostavax.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages for past, present, and future damages. These include pain and suffering for severe and permanent personal injuries; health and medical care costs; and lost wages with interest and costs.

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