Utah Woman Sues AstraZeneca Over Debilitating COVID Vaccine Trial Injuries

Brianne Dressen, a 39-year-old Utah mom, is suing AstraZeneca after participating in the company's COVID-19 vaccine trial in 2020, alleging that the experimental vaccine left her with permanent disabilities and constant, debilitating pain, and seeking compensation for her ongoing medical expenses. The lawsuit highlights the potential risks and consequences faced by clinical trial participants and raises questions about the accountability of pharmaceutical companies in providing adequate compensation for vaccine-related injuries. This description focuses on the primary topic of the lawsuit, the main entities involved (Brianne Dressen and AstraZeneca), the context of the COVID-19 vaccine trial, and the significant actions and consequences related to the subject matter. The description also provides objective and relevant details that will help an AI generate an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as the setting of a courtroom or a medical facility, and the depiction of Brianne Dressen's physical condition.

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Utah Woman Sues AstraZeneca Over Debilitating COVID Vaccine Trial Injuries

Utah Woman Sues AstraZeneca Over Debilitating COVID Vaccine Trial Injuries

Brianne Dressen, a 39-year-old mom from Utah, is suing AstraZeneca after participating in the company's COVID-19 vaccine trial in 2020. Dressen alleges that the experimental vaccine left her with permanent disabilities and constant, debilitating pain.

Dressen was one of 32,000 Americans who enrolled in the clinical trial, signing a consent form detailing potential side effects and the possibility of serious adverse reactions. The form also promised compensation for any vaccine-related injuries. However, within an hour of receiving the first dose in November 2020, Dressen began experiencing tingling and prickling sensations that later developed into more severe symptoms, including blurred vision, headaches, tinnitus, and nausea.

Why this matters: This lawsuit highlights the potential risks and consequences faced by clinical trial participants, raising questions about the accountability of pharmaceutical companies in providing adequate compensation for vaccine-related injuries. The outcome of this case could set a precedent for how companies handle compensation for clinical trial participants who experience severe adverse reactions.

Three years later, Dressen remains disabled, experiencing sharp tingling sensations throughout her body. "I walked into the clinic fine, and walked out the beginning of a nightmare I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," she described. Diagnosed with post-vaccine neuropathy by neurologists at the National Institutes of Health in June 2021, Dressen now requires expensive treatments, including a medication costing $119,000 per year and biweekly IV infusions at $3,500 per session.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, accuses AstraZeneca of breaching its contract by failing to provide adequate compensation for Dressen's ongoing medical care, which totals hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company offered her a one-time payment of just $1,243.30, an amount Dressen claims is woefully insufficient.

"I was nothing more than a number to AstraZeneca," Dressen lamented. Attorney Aaron Siri, representing Dressen, stated that she is seeking to hold the company accountable for refusing to honor its promises. An AstraZeneca spokesperson responded, saying, "We cannot comment on ongoing litigation. Patient safety is our highest priority. From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile, and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects."

Although the AstraZeneca vaccine was administered billions of times worldwide, it was never rolled out in the United States. Reports of abnormal bleeding, low blood platelets, blood clots, and even death led to its withdrawal from the market. In February 2024, the company admitted in a court document that its vaccine can cause thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome in rare cases. AstraZeneca has since withdrawn its marketing authorization in the European Union and is expected to remove the vaccine from all other markets where it was approved.

Brianne Dressen's case highlights the potential risks and consequences faced by clinical trial participants. As the founder of React19, a nonprofit supporting people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, Dressen hopes her lawsuit will hold AstraZeneca accountable and provide much-needed relief for her ongoing medical expenses. The outcome of this groundbreaking case could set a precedent for how pharmaceutical companies handle compensation for clinical trial participants who experience severe adverse reactions.

Key Takeaways

  • Brianne Dressen, a 39-year-old mom, sues AstraZeneca over COVID-19 vaccine trial injuries.
  • Dressen alleges the vaccine left her with permanent disabilities and constant pain.
  • AstraZeneca offered her a one-time payment of $1,243.30, which she claims is insufficient.
  • Dressen's lawsuit seeks to hold AstraZeneca accountable for refusing to honor its promises.
  • The outcome of this case could set a precedent for compensation for clinical trial participants.