"They Left Us No Choice": Woman With Vaccine Injury In Clinical Trial Sues AstraZeneca

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., on April 22, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh)

An American woman who suffered an injury from AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine sued the company on May 13, alleging the company breached a contract by not paying for the medical care she requires to deal with the injury.

They left us no choice,” Brianne Dressen, a preschool teacher in Utah, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Ms. Dressen has paid tens of thousands of dollars to drugs to treat the nervous system disorder and other issues she’s experiencing, according to the complaint, filed in federal court in her home state.

Ms. Dressen chose to participate in AstraZeneca’s clinical trial in 2020 because she wanted to help the company develop its COVID-19 vaccine. The consent form she signed stated in part that AstraZeneca would “cover the costs of research injuries” and “pay the costs of medical treatment.”

With these reassurances should something go wrong, Bri signed the form, rolled up her sleeve, and let the drug company inject the experimental product into her arm. Her mind was at peace, as Bri believed she was doing the right thing for her country, her students, and her family,” the suit states.

Ms. Dressen soon started experiencing problems, including blurred vision, tinnitus, and vomiting. She later became extremely sensitive to light and suffered spikes in her heart rate.

Ms. Dressen went to see numerous doctors as she attempted to figure out what was wrong with her, and seek treatment.

In 2021, U.S. National Institutes of Health doctors diagnosed Ms. Dressen as having “post-vaccine neuropathy,” according to records reviewed by The Epoch Times.

Bills for the doctors’ visits and drugs they prescribed began piling up quickly. The immunoglobulin recommended by government doctors alone costs $9,909.82 a month.

Ms. Dressen and her husband, a chemist with the U.S. Army, kept AstraZeneca and Velocity, which ran the trial for the company, apprised of the accumulating costs, according to the suit.

The family messaged Velocity on Jan. 15, 2021, with the first set of payment records for treatment but received no response, according to the suit. “Checking on updates for this. . . . When may we expect payment?” Brian Dressen, Ms. Dressen’s husband, wrote several weeks later.

I am sorry you have not heard anything as of yet. Hopefully I get an answers [sic] soon. I will reach out again today,” a Velocity official responded.

No funds came to the family, forcing them to refinance their home.

“I’d like to know when we can expect the first payment on Brianne Dressen’s medical bills? Two months since submitting...“ Mr. Dressen wrote on March 18, 2021. The Velocity official said that she was ”forwarding on” the payment records.

“Hey this is Brianne Dressen. Can you advocate a bit for us here help us get a timeline for payment? I am still not doing well, we have had to hire for after school childcare. We really need this money,“ Ms. Dressen wrote on March 24, 2021. The official said the following day she would be escalating the issue and did not understand ”why it is taking so long.”

The back-and-forth continued for months with no reimbursement paid to Ms. Dressen.

Brianne Dressen in New York on Jan. 6, 2023. (Jack Wang/The Epoch Times)

After a local television station reported on Ms. Dressen’s case on July 13, 2021, Velocity contacted the Dressens and said a payment of $590.20 was forthcoming.

The company issued the payment and said it was in touch with AstraZeneca regarding the approval of additional funds.

In December 2021, the official sent a statement for Ms. Dressen to sign that said in part that Ms. Dressen would accept $1,243 in exchange for dropping any additional claims to payment.

The Dressens declined the offer, describing it as insulting.

In March 2022, AstraZeneca representatives began directly contacting the Dressens, requesting billing and medical records.

One representative wrote on Aug. 12, 2022, that the company was waiting on medical records from providers to assess the claims. The representative said on Sept. 26, 2022, that all of the medical records had been received.

AstraZeneca and Velocity never contacted the Dressens again, according to the suit.

“I did everything they asked of me. I honored my obligations to them. They have not honored any. When they needed me, I was there, I cooperated. When I needed them, they were nowhere to be found,” Ms. Dressen said in a statement.

The suit acknowledges that COVID-19 vaccines are and were covered by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, which gives manufacturers immunity to liability in most cases. The suit accuses the companies of breach of contract and breach of duty. It asks for damages for medical expenses, emotional fallout, loss of income, and other expenses, as well as attorney fees and prejudgment interest.

Ms. Dressen is seeking a jury trial.

Velocity did not respond to a request for comment. AstraZeneca did not return an inquiry.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine was never cleared for use outside clinical trials in the United States.

The UK-based company announced earlier this month it is withdrawing the vaccine, citing limited demand. The announcement came several months after it acknowledged the shot can cause blood clots and low levels of platelets, a combination known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

Johnson & Johnson’s shot, which was cleared in the United States and also causes the syndrome, was pulled from the market in 2023.

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

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