Zostavax, a shingles vaccine developed by Merck & Co., may actually infect users with shingles or be responsible for a host of other more serious injuries. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in states across the U.S., and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Legislation has recently assigned these cases to the United States District Court of Pennsylvania and Judge Harvey Battle III, who has been hearing some of the initial cases filed.

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a procedure used by state and federal courts to consolidate civil cases when the plaintiffs are filing litigation over similar issues. MDL assigns similar cases to a single court, which expedites pre-trial proceedings because all the same information is shared between attorneys for both the plaintiffs and the defendants.

Extensive representation for vaccination injuries like these are part of the expertise the Ward Black Law team brings to the table for our clients. If you or a loved one have been injured by the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine, you need reliable information about your legal rights.

About the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine

Shingles is often a very painful condition caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles is a rash that may appear or spread anywhere on the body, though it most often develops as a stripe of blisters around one side of the torso. The risk of developing shingles increases with age, but it most commonly strikes patients older than 50. The Zostavax Shingles Vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006, and it was the only approved shingles vaccine in the U.S. until 2017.

Reported Injuries

After the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine was approved by the FDA, reports of a wide range of injuries from the vaccine began to surface. Symptoms and injuries have included:

  • Shingles
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia (the burning that continues long after the shingles rash clears)
  • Nerve Pain
  • Vision Loss
  • Retinitis (nerve damage to the eye’s retina)
  • Retinal Necrosis
  • Hearing Loss
  • Vertigo & Inner Ear Nerve Damage
  • Cardiovascular Injuries
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Neurological Infections
  • Meningitis (nerve damage or inflammation to the brain and spinal cord)
  • Encephalitis (nerve damage or inflammation to the brain)
  • Disseminated Varicella (when the shingles virus spreads to other organs)
  • Secondary bacterial infections from the shingles rash
  • Death

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a “live strain vaccine?”

These kinds of vaccines, which include the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine, are also technically referred to as “live attenuated vaccines.” They introduce a weakened strain of the pathogen into the patient’s body in an effort to help the patient’s immune system develop an effective resistance to stronger, more virulent strains of the pathogen. These vaccines are different from inactivated (or “killed”) vaccines which introduce pathogens that have been grown and killed in a culture to the patient.

What is a “live strain vaccine?”

Yes. In vaccination injury cases you must report the injury or file suit within specifically defined periods of time after developing symptoms. The time limits vary by symptom and the law that applies in your claim, so it is best to consult an attorney so you know your rights as soon as possible.

Do I qualify for inclusion in one of the MDL filings?

The answer will depend on several factors, including the nature of your injury, when you developed symptoms in relation to receiving the vaccine, and other unique circumstances related to your injury.

The Vaccine Injury Attorneys and Paralegals of Ward Black Law

If you or someone you know has suffered one or more of these injuries as a result of the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine, you should contact the vaccine injury lawyers and staff at Ward Black Law to discuss your legal options. We are closely monitoring both the federal MDL and the two current state MDLs in California and New Jersey, and can provide you the most current information about these lawsuits.

Our vaccine injury legal team, led by Nancy Meyers, focuses her practice on vaccine injury cases and has produced millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. She is specially admitted to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to handle Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claims for clients.  Nancy began practicing law in NC in 1996.  She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in biology and received her law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law, cum laude, in 1995.  She currently serves as Secretary of the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association, a national organization of attorneys who represent people injured by vaccines. https://www.vipbar.org/leadership. Her extensive experience in vaccine injury cases make her uniquely qualified to advise you about your legal rights and options. Call or text the Ward Black Law offices today at 1-800-531-9191.