$22.5 million award ordered in polio case

March 22, 2009 at 4:43 PM
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NEW YORK, March 22 (UPI) -- A father whose daughter's oral vaccination resulted in him contracting paralytic polio 30 years ago should receive $22.5 million, a New York jury says.

The Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance reported Saturday that Dominick Tenuto, 61, was awarded $22.5 million in damages as a result of Lederle Laboratories being deemed entirely liable for Tenuto contracting polio and losing the use of his legs.

Tenuto's daughter, Diana, received a Lederle vaccination called Orimune in May 1979 while she was an infant.

The vaccine was found to contain a live virus that the jury deemed made the medication potentially dangerous.

Tenuto said he likely was exposed to the virus while changing his infant daughter's diaper as the vaccine may have exited her body in her stool. He claimed the virus likely entered his body through a wound on his hand, the result of a skin surgery he had undergone.

The Advance said Tenuto applauded the state Supreme Court ruling.

"I've gotten some measure of relief that the truth finally was told in an open court of law," he said.

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