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Physician and a Pharmaceutical Company Appeal Judgment Regarding Use of Expert Testimony


A physician and a pharmaceutical company filed an appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court upon a jury verdict which awarded a girl of damages in the amount of $300,000 for personal injuries she allegedly sustained. The vaccine was administered by the physician and it is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company.

It was started when the physician was called by the mother of the girl, who told him that her daughter had stepped on a nail with her left foot the previous day. The physician testified that he took some tetanus toxoid, some duracillin and some polio vaccine with him in the woman’s residence. He injected the mixture of medicines into the girl’s shoulder but he denied having injected a four-in-one shot of vaccine. The next morning the physician received a call from the mother of the girl informing him that the girl was weak and she could not sit up and had trouble moving her right leg. The physician visited the girl immediately after the call and diagnosed her illness as between a myelitis and polio, although he thought it was atypical polio. The physician advised the family to confine the girl at the hospital. The final diagnosis of the girl’s illness was made in the hospital and it was a transverse myelitis and its reason is still unknown. Consequently, the girl was sent to the rehabilitation institution. The records there state that the attempts were made to clarify the reason of the illness without any definite results. So far as the medical records and the testimony disclose, the girl never had an abnormal fever reading at any time after the injection.

Although the physician denied that he had injected the girl with the four-in-one shot vaccine, there is sufficient other testimony in the record to sustain a contrary finding.

Based on records, there is one previous case which is similar and almost related with the issue of the four-in-one shot vaccine. That is when a healthy infant received a four-in-one shot vaccine. Consequently, the child was found tangled up in his bedclothes and whimpering, upon being picked up and patted, he quieted down and presumably went back to sleep. There was no indication of temperature at that time. Sometime later, the child’s mother found him huddled under the covers, lethargic and bathed in perspiration. The baby then admitted to a hospital where the infant remain confined. During that time he developed recurrent convulsive seizures and paralysis of the right arm and leg. At the time of trial he was mentally retarded and he is paralyzed in both right limbs and still suffers occasional seizures.

Moreover, the vaccines are intended to stimulate the production of antibodies in order to confer protection against disease by introducing an antigenic factor into the body of the recipient. In developing a vaccine in the cases of some infectious organisms, it has been possible to isolate a soluble toxin or poison excreted by the bodies of these bacteria, and to inactivate this toxin with formaldehyde, thereby converting a toxin into what is called a toxoid. A toxoid preserves the ability to immunize against the disease by stimulating the production of antibodies in the recipient, although it has lost its own poisonous qualities.

Apparently, the complainant’s failed to establish by a fair occurrence of the evidence that it was the four-in-one shot vaccine which was responsible for the girl’s injuries. Under such circumstances, the complainant’s should be afforded an opportunity to present evidence on that issue. The judgment appealed from is reversed against the pharmaceutical company and a new trial is granted. The action against the physician is also settled.

If you believe that there is someone who is accountable for the injuries you obtain from an accident or negligence, you can file for an injury case with the help of the Nassau County Personal Injury Lawyer. There are times that no medicine can alleviate the emotional pain and distress you experience from the impairment you have. You can seek damages and be guided by the Nassau County Injury Attorneys or Nassau County Brain Injury Lawyers. You can drop by at Stephen Bilkis and Associates office or call for an assistance.

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