Merck & Co. is facing over 1,300 lawsuits from people who were injured by side effects of the Zostavax® shingles vaccine.
All federal Zostavax lawsuits are currently centralized under U.S. District Judge Harry Bartle in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The cases are currently centralized in Multi-District Litigation (MDL 2848). A small number of cases will be prepped for trials. The outcome of these “bellwether” trials will help resolve other lawsuits with similar facts.
Judge Bartle scheduled the first set of trials to begin in November 2021, January 2022, and March 2022, unless an early settlement or other resolution is reached.
All of the lawsuits accuse Merck of failing to warn about the risk of side effects from Zostavax.
Zostavax was the first-ever vaccine for the prevention of shingles. It involves a single injection of a live virus. Unfortunately, victims say the virus was not adequately weakened to prevent serious infections or death.
Many of the plaintiffs suffered devastating complications — including severe outbreaks of shingles, the exact disease Zostavax was advertised to prevent.
Deaths have also been reported in sick people who were infected with the virus in Zostavax.
Other severe side effects of Zostavax include blindness, paralysis, meningitis (brain inflammation), auto-immune disorders, Acute Disseminated Encephalopmyelitis (ADEM), and more.