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Staten Island Man Wins Polio Case Against Drug Maker

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, April 03, 2009 11:49 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Polio, Lederle Laboratories, Vaccines, Medical Malpractice, Drug Product Liability, Orimune


IMAGE SOURCE: Dominick Tenuto and his daughters / New York Daily News

After 30 long years, Tenuto v. Lederle Laboratories comes to a close with a multimillion-dollar settlement.

Dominick Tenuto, a New York man stricken with polio won a multi million-dollar lawsuit against the drug maker claiming he contracted the disease 30 years ago from the polio vaccine given to his infant daughter.

Tenuto, who became ill in 1979, was awarded $22.5 million in a New York state court on Friday, one of the highest amounts ever paid on Staten Island.

The jury concluded that the Orimune vaccine his daughter received was “unreasonably dangerous” and that drugmaker, Lederle Laboratories, was “100% liable” for his injuries. The jury also found the company failed to warn doctors of the vaccine’s potential risks.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1980 and 1998 – at a time when more than 300 million doses of the vaccine were distributed – 144 people in the U.S. contracted polio via a vaccine, including 86 vaccine recipients and 51 “contact” recipients.

Tenuto and his lawyers argued that the vaccine, which contained a live virus, passed through his daughters system and infected him. Tenuto, who is wheelchair bound, lost his job and sued two years after contracting polio.

The subsequent months were spent in intensive care on a respirator. “I was on death’s door,” Tenuto said.

After nearly two years of rehabilitation, his health improved but he remained partially paralyzed. He tried to go back to work, but the building wasn’t wheelchair accessible.

Tenuto, said he plans to provide for his family, including two infant grandchildren, donate to charity, have his teeth fixed and move out of subsidized housing.

Lederle Laboratories says they plan to appeal. #


Posted by Gerry McGill
Saturday, April 04, 2009 5:20 PM EST

If he contacted polio in 1979 and sued two years later in 1981 why has it taken 28 years to return a verdict?

Anonymous User
Posted by JILL PAUL RN
Sunday, April 05, 2009 5:13 PM EST

If you, or a loved one, has been injured by a faulty medical device or drug, please sign and post comments on the ongoing petition for the Medical Device Safety ACt 2009- S540/HR1346 at:
Together, we can stand against the big corporate lobbyists who do not want this very important piece of Legislature passed in Congress and The Senate. This bill, if passed, will negate FDA Preemption and restore our legal rights as United States citizens. Please sign this for you, your Children, and your Grandchildren and protect the innocent victims of faulty medical devices' and drugs. Thank you for joining us in our effort for bringing this to The Congress and The Senate's attention in asking for their support in passing this urgent piece of legislation. Together we can conquer, alone, we cannot.

Comments for this article are closed.

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