Merck Sued In Philly Over Shingles Vaccine Injuries

Preface by TLB Staff Writer: Christopher Wyatt

Shingles was unheard of until the use of the chickenpox vaccine became common in the late 1990s. The reason for this is once a person has chickenpox the virus stays in their body and can reappear during times of stress or low immune function.

Re exposure to the chickenpox would keep immunity high and prevent the risk of shingles. Now that natural immunity has been thrown out of whack by the use of the chickenpox vaccine, the elderly are facing waning immunity to the chickenpox which is the root cause of the shingles epidemics.

Instead of using a vaccine that can harm the elderly, why not discontinue the chickenpox vaccine? The reason is simple Merck the same company that makes the chickenpox vaccine also makes the shingles vaccine!

Most of the recommended vaccines in the United States are made by Merck and they have a very dangerous relationship with the CDC. If it is made by Merck at some point it will be forced upon the public! For those who don’t know, Merck is the same company that unleashed Vioxx onto the world and is currently being sued over forging the data so they could get approval for their mumps vaccine. They also just so happen to make most of the childhood vaccines recommended by the CDC!

How many more people have to suffer before the CDC and the pharmaceutical industry are held accountable? (CW)

Merck Sued In Philly Over Shingles Vaccine Injuries

Law360, Philadelphia (February 23, 2017, 1:44 PM EST) — A Nevada woman claimed Wednesday she suffered high blood pressure, an eye injury and other side effects from Merck & Co.’s Zostavax shingles vaccine in what appears to be the first suit over the inoculation in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas.
Plaintiff Jorja Bentley said in a complaint that the patient information sheet, label and prescribing information that accompanied the vaccine did not provide any warning of the risk of viral infection.

Bentley’s 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 or varicella-zoster virus pneumonia, Merck failed to properly address and provide this information both to patients and the medical providers prescribing the vaccine,” she said.

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 injuries to her right eye, elevated blood pressure, headaches and dizziness, according to the complaint.

She said in the suit that the only warnings she received on the documentation accompanying the vaccine 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.

Marc Bern of Bern Cappelli LLP, who represents Bentley, told Law360 Friday that a number of further lawsuits over the vaccine were on the way.

“We’ve been looking at this potential case for sometime, and we believe it is highly meritorious,” he said. “We believe the vaccine is at best 50 percent effective. Either it is not effective, or it has caused shingles and other issues, like in this case, where it has caused a serious opthamological complication.”

The inoculation is a stronger, more potent version of Merck’s chickenpox vaccine, Varivax. It was one of the flagship results from Merck’s European joint vaccine venture with Sanofi, which the two companies disbanded in 2016.

A representative for Merck did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Bentley is represented by Joseph Cappelli and Shawn Sassaman of Bern Cappelli LLP.

Merck is represented by Dino Sangiamo and Meredith Healy of Venable LLP and Maura Burke Eileen Oakes Muskett of Fox Rothschild LLP.

The case is Bentley v. Merck & Co. Inc. et al, case number 161004102 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

–Additional reporting by John Kennedy. Editing by Emily Kokoll.

This story has been updated to include a comment from plaintiff’s counsel. 


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2 Comments on Merck Sued In Philly Over Shingles Vaccine Injuries

  1. The Shingles vax is one of a few that are not covered by the 1986 Vaccine Act that eliminated liability for vax injuries from the companies who make them. People injured by shingles vax do not have to go to VAERS court

  2. I thought companies that make vaccines cannot be sued for damages and negligence. That is why there are so many problems with vaccines because the companies cannot be held responsible. Victims have to go to a Federal vaccine injury court that has already paid out millions.

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