A man who contracted polio from his infant daughter's oral vaccination can sue the physician who gave the vaccination, the state's highest court ruled Thursday.
In a unanimous decision handed down by the Court of Appeals, the late Dr. Leroy Schwartz can be found liable for failing to tell Dominick and Elizabeth Tenuto that the oral polio vaccine could pass through their daughter's body, and that contact with the child's feces or saliva could infect them.
In May 1979, the Tenutos' child was given a dose of oral poliomyelitis vaccine. While the manufacturer of the vaccine, Lederle Laboratories, included a warning material about possible infection, the Tenutos claim that Schwartz never passed along that information.
According to court papers, Dominick Tenuto had elective surgery shortly after his daughter's vaccination, and began showing signs of infection a few weeks later. Tenuto is now a paraplegic.