Each year, around a million people in the U.S. get shingles, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Approximately half of those who develop shingles are ages 60 or older. Because of the heightened risk of older adults developing shingles, many doctors recommend that they receive vaccines against shingles. One of these vaccines is Zostavax, which has been found to cause numerous dangerous complications and side effects. If you have suffered serious complications after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, it is important for you to talk to the personal injury team at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook. We have helped many residents of Arkansas and Oklahoma recover damages for the injuries that they have suffered because of defective drugs, and we can assist you in filing a Zostavax lawsuit.
Understanding Shingles and the Basis for a Zostavax Lawsuit
The varicella-zoster virus causes both chickenpox and shingles. If you have ever had chickenpox, you may develop shingles later in life due to a reactivation of this virus.
According to the National Institutes of Health, shingles may strike people at any age, but it is most common in people who are ages 50 or older. Shingles is a very painful condition that is characterized by a rash that breaks out on one side of your body. The rash is comprised of blisters, and the pain normally lasts for several weeks. In rare cases, shingles can lead to other complications such as encephalitis, pneumonia, and others.
Zostavax is a vaccine that is recommended for adults ages 50 and older who have had chickenpox to prevent them from developing shingles. However, the vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck, has been shown to cause many serious side effects and complications that can lead to injuries or death.
Injuries from Zostavax
Many people across the U.S. have experienced serious injuries after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, and attorneys are expecting thousands of lawsuits to be filed. People have suffered the following types of injuries within one year of receiving their Zostavax vaccines:
- Autoimmune disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Bell’s palsy
- Congestive heart failure
- Hearing loss
- Herpetic neuralgia
- Inflammation of the spinal cord
- Serious neurological disorders
If you have suffered any of these complications or have lost a loved one following a vaccination with Zostavax, you might have the legal basis to file a Zostavax lawsuit with the help of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook.
Potential Claims in a Zostavax Lawsuit
Many of the Zostavax lawsuit claims are based on an area of personal injury law called products liability. Products liability claims may include claims that are based on defective and dangerous drugs. In a claim involving a dangerous drug, the drug manufacturers may be liable if the patients who take the drug or receive the vaccine develop preventable injuries or illnesses because the drug caused adverse, serious reactions. Many of these types of cases involve the manufacturers’ failure to provide adequate warnings of the potential risks and side effects of the drugs. The family members of people who die after taking dangerous prescribed medications or vaccines may also have the basis for filing wrongful death lawsuits against the drug makers.
In the case of Zostavax, many of the currently filed lawsuits claim that Merck failed to warn people of the potentially severe side effects of the vaccine. According to an article by the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI), Merck did not add the potential for Zostavax to cause shingles and blindness until after 2014, despite the fact that the drug was first released on the market in 2006. The drug maker is also accused of failing to warn of many other serious and potentially life-threatening complications, and the CMSRI reports that researchers found that the vaccine is only effective for preventing shingles in one out of 175 people. Some legal claims allege that Merck lied about the effectiveness and the safety of Zostavax and that it continued to sell and market Zostavax despite its knowledge that the vaccine was faulty and could harm people who received it.
Contact the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook Today
If you have received the Zostavax vaccine and developed one of these serious conditions or complications, you may have legal rights. It is important for you to seek help from a qualified attorney at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook who is experienced in handling products liability claims. By filing a lawsuit, you might be able to recover damages from Merck so that you can be fully compensated for your losses. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation about your potential rights by calling us at 479-783-8000 or sending us a message online.