NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- ClassAction.com and Morgan & Morgan attorney Michael Goetz filed a lawsuit against Merck & Co. for their shingles vaccine, Zostavax. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiff Norman Sukkar, a resident of New York City who was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis five months after receiving the Zostavax vaccine.
Zostavax was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006 and is recommended for people ages 60 years and older by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently it is the only approved shingles vaccine in the U.S. and has been administered more than 36 million times.
The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey, where Merck is headquartered.
Formerly Athletic and Healthy, Client Awoke Without the Ability to Walk
Mr. Sukkar was healthy and athletic when he received the Zostavax vaccine in November 2015 on the recommendation of his doctor. He awoke five months later without the ability to walk and was immediately hospitalized. Mr. Sukkar was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord for which there is no cure.
The complaint alleges that as a direct and proximate result of Merck's defective Zostavax vaccine, Mr. Sukkar suffered serious, permanent, incurable injuries. Mr. Sukkar still has less than 50% sensation in his legs—walking just a few blocks leaves him exhausted.
The complaint accuses Merck & Co. of negligence, designing a defective product, failure to warn, breach of express and implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.
Though Zostavax posed a serious risk of bodily harm to consumers (including the increased risk of contracting an infection), Merck continued to manufacture and market the vaccine, the complaint alleges. Merck is also accused of failing to warn the medical community and consumers of the risk of serious and dangerous side effects, including viral infections resulting in shingles, postherpetic neuralgia, and other diseases of the nervous system.
Fighting for Justice
Attorney Goetz hopes this lawsuit will result in justice for his client and hold Merck & Co. accountable for failing to inform the public of the dangerous side effects of this frequently administered vaccine.
"As the only approved shingles vaccine, Merck has long profited from Zostavax and its exclusive dominance in the market," said attorney Michael Goetz, who leads the firm's mass tort section. "Instead of providing the safest shingles vaccine possible to the millions of Americans who rely on it, Merck manufactured and sold a product with serious side effects. We hope this lawsuit will allow Mr. Sukkar the opportunity to obtain justice for the injuries he has suffered."
Mr. Sukkar seeks compensation for medical costs and expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, costs of attorneys' fees, and punitive damages.
ClassAction.com is sponsored by the national plaintiff's law firm Morgan & Morgan. Always fighting for the people, not the powerful, ClassAction.com and Morgan & Morgan have recovered more than $4 billion for 200,000 clients. The firm has about 370 attorneys across 40 offices in 11 states. With the support of nearly 2,000 employees, the firm's attorneys represent clients in a wide range of practice areas: national mass torts and class actions, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, labor and employment, mesothelioma, and product liability lawsuits, among others.
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