The law firms of Sadaka Associates and Marc J. Bern & Partners filed the first of numerous lawsuits in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas alleging Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax caused serious nerve injury, including blindness.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff Jorja Bentley alleges that the patient information sheet, label and prescribing information that accompanied the vaccine did not provide any warning of the risk of viral infection. The complaint made reference to a number of reports since the vaccine’s introduction in 2006 connecting it to viral infections leading to disease of the central nervous system. Despite this information and the potential correlation between being administered the Zostavax vaccine and developing an infection within a relatively short period of time, leading to the development of shingles.
Bentley received the vaccination, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of shingles in individuals 60 and older, in November 2014, according to the complaint. Shortly afterwards, she allegedly developed a headache, dizziness and blurred vision. Now Bentley continues to suffer from blindness in her right eye, headaches and dizziness.
The complaint alleges that the only warning on the documentation accompanying the vaccine Bentley received referenced the possibility of rash and itching at the injection site. Bentley blames the company for manufacturing and marketing the vaccine when it was aware of the risks of infection, according to the complaint. She pointed to articles questioning the safety of the vaccine in a number of scientific and medical journals.
The complaint includes claims for negligence, design defect, failure to warn, breaches of express and implied warranties, fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. Bentley is also seeking punitive damages.