VACCINE INJURY LAWYER


Ohio Product Liability Lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in Pharmaceutical Litigation and drug injury cases
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What You Have Been Through

Spread Awareness of Drug Risks & Outcomes

Vaccines are undoubtedly an important part of modern medicine. They have saved the lives of millions across the globe, protecting people from terrible diseases and illnesses like measles, typhoid, influenza, hepatitis, shingles, pertussis and others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines have reduced preventable infectious diseases to an all-time low.

With that said, some newer vaccines, produced by for-profit laboratories and drug companies, have caused serious injuries. If vaccines are mass produced without being properly tested or controlled, a company may release defective vaccines, which can result in various adverse health consequences.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates vaccine products available on the market. If a series of complaints of injuries or safety concerns are verified by the agency, a vaccine may be recalled.

If you have been vaccinated with a defective or recalled vaccine, and have suffered a related injury, seek medical assistance, and contact an experienced attorney to help recover the costs of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of product liability claims against pharmaceutical companies


Defective Vaccine Injury


Due to the most common method of vaccination, tissue and nerve damage injuries in the shoulder are the most common adverse effect reported. Needles can do damage if a vaccine is improperly administered too high on the upper arm.

A needle may pierce the deltoid muscle and continue into the shoulder joint. The tissue damage from the needle can be exacerbated by an immune reaction to the injected vaccine, and can lead to inflammation that damages tendons, ligaments, and bursas. Other defective vaccine injury may include:

  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)—a neurological malady associated with some influenza vaccines
  • Anaphylaxis—a life-threatening allergic reaction from almost any vaccine
  • Intussusception—an intestinal blockage
  • Brachial neuritis (Personage Turner Syndrome)—an inflammation of the nerves supplying the hand and arm, which afflicts some tetanus vaccine recipients
  • Febrile seizures

Zostavax Vaccine Lawsuits


Over the last decade, several product liability and personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Merck, alleging the company produced and sold “unreasonably dangerous” vaccines, which directly caused serious injuries after vaccination.

One class action defective vaccine injury lawsuit claimed Merck knew their shingles vaccine Zostavax could cause shingles, but failed to list this as a side effect until almost 8 years after the vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006.

Instead of preventing shingles, Zostavax caused several patients to contract a persistent strain of herpes zoster, resulting in painful outbreaks. The FDA and injured patients reported that Zostavax side effects could include:

  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Eye disorders—possible blindness
  • Hearing loss
  • Liver failure

Merck Vaccine Recalls


Merck has been involved in other defective vaccine-related recalls and lawsuits as well. In 2007, Merck recalled 1.2 million doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines due to concerns about potential contamination with bacteria called B. cereus.

In 2013, Merck implemented a recall for the HPV vaccine Gardasil, due to the potential for a number of vials to contain glass particles as a result of breakage during the manufacturing process.


Rotavirus Vaccine Injury


Rotavirus is a foodborne infection and the most common cause of diarrhea in infants and children worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before the development of a relatively recent vaccine, most children in the United States had at least one rotavirus infection by age 5. Even with vaccination, however, infection is still possible and dangerous, and sometimes the risk of infection increases with vaccination.

Rotavirus is a contagious virus that can cause gastroenteritis. Symptoms include severe watery diarrhea, often with vomiting, and may result in severe dehydration. Infants and young children may need to be hospitalized in some cases.

Most rotavirus infections can be treated at home with extra fluids to prevent dehydration but severe dehydration requires intravenous fluids in the hospital. Dehydration is always a serious condition and a major cause of childhood deaths in developing countries.

A rotavirus infection caused by a vaccination typically will present within two days of exposure to the virus. Initial symptoms are a fever and vomiting, followed by three to seven days of watery diarrhea. In adults, a rotavirus infection may cause only mild signs or none at all. Rotavirus may be suspected if a patient presents with the following:

  • Diarrhea for more than 24 hours
  • Frequent episodes of vomiting
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Stool containing blood or pus
  • A high fever
  • Lethargy
  • Symptoms of dehydration, including dry mouth, little or no urination
  • Inability to keep liquids down
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Defective Vaccine Injury Lawsuits


In recent years, several vaccine lots have been recalled because of a possible safety concern. When a vaccine recall occurs and a safety concern is noted by the FDA or the manufacturer, people who were vaccinated should talk to their doctor.

If a defective vaccine injury has occurred, it is prudent to contact an experienced attorney who can investigate the cause and assist in recovering compensation for injuries and damages that result.

The Lyon Firm is dedicated to protecting consumers in the face of dangerous and misrepresented medical products like various vaccines, including the zoster virus vaccines Zostavax and Shingrix. When drug companies fail to warn consumers of health risks associated with their products, they may be held liable for complications and injuries.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

By taking the initiative and filing drug injury lawsuits, plaintiffs can receive proper compensation and hold a corporation accountable for their negligent actions. Consumer safety depends largely on making sure companies operate within the law and within ethical boundaries.

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Questions about Pharmaceutical Litigation

What is Pharmaceutical Litigation?

When drug makers and large corporations are negligent and produce dangerous products that lead to serious illness and injury, legal action can be necessary. In the current corporate environment, filing lawsuits is one of the only ways to keep drug companies from selling untested and dubious pharmaceuticals in the name of profit. Pharmaceutical litigation – through a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer- helps bring awareness to these companies as to the necessary changes that need to occur in order to keep people safe a healthy while taking a  certain drug. 

By taking the initiative and filing drug injury lawsuits, plaintiffs can receive proper compensation and hold a corporation accountable for their negligent actions. Consumer safety depends largely on making sure companies operate within the law and within ethical boundaries.

How does the drug label come into play?

In past litigation, it has been discovered that drug companies often delay adding serious side effects to a drug’s label due to concerns about the impact on the sales and marketing. If a drug carries more serious side effects, physicians and patients look for alternative treatments with less risk and the same or similar benefit.  As a result, there is a financial incentive not to strengthen the warning label.

However, the label is the source of information that physicians and patients rely upon when making these important health decisions.  There is no excuse for a company not to update its label when the science is sufficient to show an association with the medication.

How does this related to the FDA?

Most experts would agree that the FDA is not designed nor does it have the resources to monitor every product through the post approval process once it has been granted clearance. Very simply, the volume of medical devices that are presented for review is too demanding, so, while the FDA is a good initial step in the process, the responsibility of providing safe and effective pharmaceutical companies remains on the companies that profit from the sales.

While the pharmaceutical companies have yielded more influence over the review process, ultimately, the law is very clear that it is the company’s responsibility to run the appropriate tests, track the data, and to identify the side effects and then warn consumers and physicians adequately and in a timely manner. Government approval is not a shield for liability. The Failure to timely and sufficiently warn of side effects operates as the primary cause of action for pharmaceutical claims.

Most importantly, the FDA and the government do not provide for compensation when someone is injured by a pharmaceutical product.  The civil justice system provides the means for an individual harmed by a pharmaceutical product to obtain justice and recover for the losses suffered.

Without the civil justice system, companies would not be required to pay for the harm they cause, and the public tax system, in terms of Medicare and Medicaid, would have to absorb that loss. In other words, without pharmaceutical lawsuits, the tax payers would pay for corporate malfeasance and neglect.

What are some examples of Pharmaceutical Settlements?

The current opioid crisis is a good example of how over-prescribing medications can lead to a huge public health crisis. Pain medications have been a great tool for physicians in treating a wide variety of conditions, however, the abuse of prescribing and using pain medication has turned into one of biggest areas of pharmaceutical litigation today.

It is not only opioids that have been prescribed in huge numbers. Other drugs that have only been tested in short trials are released to the market each year and injure patients. A few examples of drug injury:

Testosterone: Low T clinics are under investigation after many patients receiving testosterone therapy have reported strokes and heart attacks. Experts say doctors may be pushing the therapy when not every aging man requires testosterone therapy.

AntibioticsAntibiotic injuries are being reported at record rates as the drugs are prescribed more than ever before. Drug resistance and drug injury rates are on the rise, concerning the medical community and consumer protection attorneys.

Diabetes Drug Injury: Severe side effects are being reported by diabetes patients taking Invokana and other diabetes medications. Amputations and gangrene cases have opened the eyes of many taking the drugs, and lawsuits have been filed on their behalf.

Drug Contamination: Valsartan and Losartan contamination cases have raised the risk of patient cancer. Drug companies have failed to control the production process and put consumers at unnecessary risk.

Opioid Painkiller Lawsuits: Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and other large drug companies are deep in pharmaceutical settlement talks many years after the beginning of the opioid addiction crisis. Thousands of Americans die each year in opioid-related overdose deaths, many of which begin with doctors over-prescribing pain medications.

Depo Provera: Confidential settlement from Pfizer to resolve all of the claims currently pending in the New Jersey State coordinated litigation. Joseph Lyon represented 13 females who suffered osteoporosis due to the failure of Pfizer to properly warn them and their physicians.

Seroquel: AstraZeneca resolved claims for $198 Million regarding claims that the company failed to warn about risks of diabetes and excessive weight gain. The Lyon Firm participated in this settlement and represented numerous claimants. In addition to the individual claims, Federal prosecutors and authorities from several U.S. states investigated whether AstraZeneca promoted Seroquel off-label, or for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company announced a settlement of $520 million with the U.S. Justice Department over the matter.

Trasylol: Bayer resolved certain claims for $60 Million for patients who suffered heart failure and death as a result of the drug Trasylol.  Trasylol was a drug used to prevent excessive bleeding during heart surgery. The science unequivocally showed Trasylol can cause kidney damage, heart failure and strokes, and greatly increase patients’ risk of post-surgery death when compared to rival treatments.

In 2006, a study by Dr. Dennis Mangano was published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluding that the drug more than doubled the risk of renal failure.  After fourteen years on the market, Bayer suspended sales in November 2007. The Lyon Firm participated in this settlement.

Vioxx: Merck settled the outstanding Vioxx claims for $4.85 billion. The Lyon Firm participated in this settlement.  In 2004, after a study showed Vioxx doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes, Merck pulled Vioxx from the market. The case was then litigated with 16 trial ultimately going to the jury for a decision. Merck prevailed in 11 of the 16 trials.

Despite the settlement, Merck has not admitted that that Vioxx caused injuries. Each claim under the settlement was analyzed under an protocol that weighed such factors as a user’s age, their length of use, and their health risks such as obesity or hypertension. The individual extraordinary payout for a heart attack case was capped at $600,000.

How are the cases handled?

Pharmaceutical litigation is a complex area of law that combines dense regulation, developing science, and multi-jurisdictional questions of law. Most cases involving claims of drug injury and pharmaceuticals become centralized in the federal multidistrict litigation process. Pharmaceutical litigation involving injury claims are not in most cases not class action lawsuits, but they are very similar.

Due to the volume of cases and number of similar issues, most pharmaceutical cases are handled through Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). The multidistrict litigation procedure is guided by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation, where the case is centralized before one federal Judge for the purposes of pre-trial discovery.

The MDL process is appropriate where there are one or more common questions of fact in multiple cases pending in different federal district courts.  While there often are parallel state consolidated proceedings, the federal MDL process is generally supported by both Plaintiff and Defendants in these cases.

The MDL process allows for efficiency where there are millions of pages of documents, many expert witnesses across multiple disciplines from epidemiology, pharmacology, toxicology and the specific discipline for the relevant mechanism of injury.

Although 28 USC 1407 does not specify a specific number of cases required before the formation of an MDL is appropriate, the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation reviews the Motions and conducts a hearing to determine whether consolidation is ripe given the number and location of the pending cases.

What is an MDL?

Most people understand what a class action lawsuit is, and fewer are aware of what an MDL refers to. It is important for a claimant to know, however, that an MDL is not a class action, as the term is often misapplied in this context, and the original court (home or transferee jurisdiction) retains the authority to present the case at trial.

In most MDL settings, the case is resolved by way of settlement or a summary judgment motion on the questions of science (i.e., Daubert Motion). If either settlement or dismissal on Motion occurs, the case is not remanded to the originating court. If the case is not resolved at the MDL, then the case may be remanded to original jurisdiction for additional discovery on the case specifics and ultimately trial.

Why Hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Pharmaceutical Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Pharmaceutical lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a drug to obtain just compensation under the law. 

IN RE: VIOXX

Nationwide Consolidation in U.S. District Court, E. Dist. of LA. 

This pharmaceutical case involved claims that the blockbuster painkiller was causing heart attacks and strokes in consumers. The FDA ultimately recalled the medication. Merck settled the outstanding Vioxx claims for $4.85 billion following multiple trials in both state and federal courts. Joe Lyon was co-counsel in a number of individual claims that were successfully resolved in the federal MDL. The funds received for Lyon Firm clients helped several elderly clients with additional medical and home health care.

IN RE: TRASYLOL

Nationwide Consolidation in Civil Complex Litigation Center Philadelphia, PA. 

A pharmaceutical case involving claims that a popular surgical medication was causing kidney failure and death. The FDA recalled the medication in question, but not before thousands of patients died due to related complications. Bayer resolved certain claims for $60 Million for patients who suffered kidney failure and death as a result of using the drug Trasylol. Joseph Lyon represented a widow from Kentucky whose husband died due to kidney failure following the administration of Trasylol. The recovered funds assisted the surviving family members in resuming farming operations.

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