A Staten Island man stricken with polio after changing his daughter’s diaper 30 years ago won a multimillion dollar judgment from the maker of the oral vaccine that passed through her stool.
Dominick Tenuto, who fell ill while working at a small Wall Street securities firm in 1979, was awarded $22.5 million on Friday. The award is believed to be among the highest ever on Staten Island.
“It was a long legal fight and we finally prevailed,” Tenuto, 61, told the Daily News Saturday. “We waited 30 years.”
The jury determined that the Orimune vaccine his daughter, Diana, received was “unreasonably dangerous” and that drugmaker Lederle Laboratories was “100% liable” for his injuries. The jury also found that the company failed to warn doctors of the vaccine’s potential risks.
Tenuto and his lawyers successfully argued that the oral vaccine, which contained a live virus, passed through the baby’s system and infected him. Tenuto, who uses a wheelchair, lost his job and sued two years after contracting polio.
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