On April 01, 2021, Susan l. Stockers (“Plaintiff”), represented by Nicole Lovett of Morgan & Morgan filed a personal injury action against Merck & Co., Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp. (collectively, “Defendants” and/or “Merck”), seeking compensatory and punitive damages with restitution and disgorgement of profits for causing pain and suffering for severe and permanent personal injuries. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with Judge Harvey Bartle, III presiding.
In its complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “Zostavax was designed, developed, marketed, and sold with the intended purpose of preventing shingles, which is caused by the varicella zoster virus (“VZV”). Varicella zoster is a virus that causes chickenpox. Once the VZV causes chickenpox, the virus remains inactive (dormant) in the nervous system for many years. In or around October 9, 2014, Plaintiff was inoculated with Defendants’ Zostavax vaccine for routine health maintenance and for its intended purpose: the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster). Shortly after receiving Defendants’ Zostavax vaccine, Plaintiff suffered a vesicular rash on the left abdomen with scattered lesions on the lateral surface with pain, itching, and burning, which was diagnosed as Shingles”.
The Plaintiff further alleged that “As a direct and proximate result of Merck’s defective Zostavax vaccine, Plaintiff’s symptoms have resulted in physical limitations not present prior to using Merck’s product. Plaintiff also experiences mental and emotional distress due to resulting physical limitations and seriousness of her condition.”
The Plaintiff also alleges that, “As a result of the manufacture, marketing, advertising, promotion, distribution and/or sale of Zostavax, Plaintiff sustained severe and permanent personal injuries. Further, as a tragic consequence of Merck’s wrongful conduct, Plaintiff suffered serious, progressive, permanent, and incurable injuries, as well as significant conscious pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment and injury”.
There are eight claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim is for alleged negligence because Merck allegedly failed to exercise due care in the labelling of Zostavax, and allegedly failed to issue to consumers and/or their healthcare providers adequate warnings as to the risk of serious bodily injury, including viral infection, resulting from its use. The second claim is for alleged strict liability – design and manufacturing defect because Merck allegedly designed, developed, researched, manufactured, tested, advertised, promoted, marketed, sold, and distributed a defective product that created an unreasonable risk of serious harm to the health, safety, and well-being of Plaintiff and other consumers. Merck is therefore allegedly strictly liable for Plaintiff’s injuries and damages sustained proximately caused by Plaintiff’s use of the product. The third claim is for alleged products liability – failure to warn. The fourth and fifth claims are for alleged breach of express warranty and alleged breach of implied warranty, respectively. The sixth, seventh and eighth claims are for alleged negligent misrepresentation, alleged unjust enrichment, and alleged punitive damages, respectively.
In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the court order a judgment against Defendants, and each of them, individually, jointly and severally and request compensatory damages, together with interest, cost of suit, attorneys’ fees, and all such other relief as the Court deems just and proper, compensatory damages, restitution, disgorgement of profits, reasonable attorneys, costs of proceedings, punitive damages and such other and further relief as this court deems just and proper.
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Pending - Other Pending
U.S. District Courts
Pennsylvania Eastern District
HARVEY BARTLE, III
SUSAN L. STOCKERS,
MERCK SHARP & DOHME CORP.
MERCK & CO., INC.
Attorney at MORGAN & MORGAN
201 North Franklin Street, 7Th Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
DINO S. SANGIAMO
Attorney at VENABLE LLP
750 E Pratt St Ste 900
Baltimore, MD 21202
(#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: 04/05/2021)
Case Management Track Form
Civil Cover Sheet
(#1) COMPLAINT against MERCK & CO., INC., MERCK SHARP & DOHME CORP. ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0313-15028752.), filed by SUSAN L. STOCKERS,. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Case Management Track Form, #3 Designation Form)(LOVETT, NICOLE) (Entered: 04/02/2021)
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: 04/05/2021)Read MoreRead Less
DocketSummons Issued as to MERCK & CO., INC., MERCK SHARP & DOHME CORP.. Forwarded To: EMAILED TO PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL on 4/2/21 (JL ) (Entered: 04/02/2021)Read MoreRead Less
DocketDEMAND for Trial by Jury by SUSAN L. STOCKERS,. (fb) (Entered: 04/02/2021)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against MERCK & CO., INC., MERCK SHARP & DOHME CORP. ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0313-15028752.), filed by SUSAN L. STOCKERS,. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Case Management Track Form, #3 Designation Form)(LOVETT, NICOLE) (Entered: 04/02/2021)Read MoreRead Less
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