This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 04/05/2021 at 07:11:45 (UTC).

MOAK v. MERCK & CO., INC. et al

Case Summary

On February 4, 2021, Laska Moak (“Plaintiff”), represented by Debra J. Humphrey of Marc J Bern & Partners LLP, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Merck & Co., INC, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., and Mckesson Corporation (collectively, “Defendants”) seeking general, special, statutory, and punitive damages along with litigation costs for mental and physical pain and sufferings resulting from use of Zostavax Vaccine. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the  Eastern District of Pennsylvania with Judge Harvey Bartle, III presiding.

Plaintiff in its complaint alleged that “Defendants had a duty to exercise ordinary and reasonable care in the design, research, manufacture, marketing, testing, advertisement, supply, promotion, packaging, sale, and distribution of ZOSTAVAX, including the duty to take all reasonable steps necessary to manufacture and sell a product that was not defective and unreasonably dangerous to consumers and users of the product,” and that “Defendants failed to exercise reasonable care in the design, formulation, manufacture, sale, testing, quality assurance, quality control, labeling, marketing, promotions, and distribution of ZOSTAVAX because Defendants knew, or should have known, that ZOSTAVAX caused viral infection, and was therefore not safe for administration to consumers.”

Plaintiff alleged that “As a direct and proximate result of Plaintiff’s use of the ZOSTAVAX vaccine, Plaintiff has and will continue suffer ongoing injuries, including but not limited to: mental and physical pain and suffering; medical care and treatment for these injuries; significant medical and related expenses as a result of these injuries, including but not limited to medical losses and costs include care for hospitalization, physician care, monitoring, treatment, medications, and supplies; diminished capacity for the enjoyment of life; diminished quality of life; increased risk of premature death, aggravation of preexisting conditions and activation of latent conditions; and other losses and damages; and will continue to suffer such losses, and damages in the future.”

It was further alleged by the Plaintiff that “Defendants’ breach of duty was a direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff’s ZOSTAVAX use, resulting in Plaintiff’s injuries.”

There are six claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim of relief is for negligence, wherein Plaintiff alleges that “Defendants continued to manufacture and market the product despite the knowledge, whether direct or ascertained with reasonable care, that ZOSTAVAX posed a serious risk of bodily harm to consumers.” Other claims are products liability - design and manufacturing defect, wherein Plaintiff alleges that “ZOSTAVAX was manufactured, designed, marketed, labeled, and sold in a defective condition, for use by Plaintiff’s physicians and/or healthcare providers, and all other consumers of the product, making the product unreasonably dangerous. Under products liability - failure to warn claim, Plaintiff alleges that “The ZOSTAVAX vaccine was defective at the time it left Defendants’ control because the vaccine failed to include adequate warnings, instructions, and directions relating to the dangerous risks associated with the use of ZOSTAVAX to prevent shingles.”  Under breach of express warranty under common law principles and S.C. Code. Ann. § 36-2-313 , et seq., Plaintiff alleges that “Defendants made their express warranties to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s healthcare providers through ZOSTAVAX’s product insert, prescribing information, patient information sheet, labeling, advertising, marketing materials, detail persons, seminar presentations, publications, notice letters, and ZOSTAVAX’s regulatory submissions.” Plaintiff also alleges breach of implied warranty under S.C. Code Ann.§§ 36-2-314, et seq, and unjust enrichment.

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff requested the court to award general, special, statutory, exemplary, and punitive damages along with prejudgment and post-judgment interest on general and special damages in addition to the cost of litigation.

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets


Case Details

  • Case Number:


  • Filing Date:


  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Medical/Pharmaceutical Product Liability

Judge Details

Presiding Judge



Party Details







Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney



One Grand Central Plane, 60 E 42Nd Street, Suite 950

New York, NY 10165

Defendant Attorney


Attorney at VENABLE LLP

750 E Pratt St Ste 900

Baltimore, MD 21202


Court Documents


1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet

1 #2

Certificate of Service Merck & Co. Inc. /POS

1 #3

Certificate of Service McKesson Corp./POS

1 #4

Certificate of Service Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp./POS

1 #5

Case Management Track Form Case Management Track Form

1 #6

Designation Form Designation Form



Docket Entries

  • 02/05/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) NOTICE of Appearance by DINO S. SANGIAMO on behalf of MERCK & CO., INC., MERCK SHARP & DOHME CORP. with Certificate of Service(SANGIAMO, DINO) (Entered: 02/05/2021)

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  • 02/05/2021
  • DocketSummons Issued as to MERCK & CO., INC., MERCK SHARP & DOHME CORP., McKESSON CORPORATION,. E-MAILED To: COUNSEL on 2/5/21 (bw, ) (Entered: 02/05/2021)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketDEMAND for Trial by Jury by LASKA MOAK. (fb) (Entered: 02/05/2021)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0313-14893873.), filed by LASKA MOAK. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Certificate of Service Merck & Co. Inc. /POS, #3 Certificate of Service McKesson Corp./POS, #4 Certificate of Service Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp./POS, #5 Case Management Track Form Case Management Track Form, #6 Designation Form Designation Form)(HUMPHREY, DEBRA) (Entered: 02/04/2021)

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