March 24, 2009 - Vaccine Victim Gets $22 Million After 30 Year Legal Fight

A Staten Island man has been awarded $22.5 million by a state Supreme Court jury 30 years after he was paralyzed by his child's polio vaccine.

Domenick Tenuto, 61, said he got the deadly disease while changing his daughter's diaper shortly after she was inoculated in 1979, the Staten Island Advance reported.

He said he'd undergone hand surgery and fell ill after the live virus seeped into his wound a risk that the vaccine's maker, Lederle Laboratories, put at one in 10 million.

Friday's verdict found Lederle responsible for what happened to Tenuto, who uses a wheelchair, because the firm failed to properly warn doctors about potential risks.

Tenuto, a former Wall Street securities supervisor, said he felt vindicated.

"I've gotten some measure of relief that the truth was finally told," said Tenuto, who filed suit in 1980 and had to file numerous appeals before trial could even begin.

Lederle said it would "consider our appellate options."

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