Man Suing Bosses Over Complications From Flu Shot

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s supposed to keep you from getting sick, but a far north suburban resident said he came down with a serious neurological disorder after being pressured by his bosses to get a flu shot.

Now Bill Werner has developed an adverse reaction to the shot and is struggling to walk.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports on his fight to get his company to accept responsibility.

Every step is a calculated move for Werner, but the 67-year-old truck driver said that, just six months ago he was in perfect health.

After an H1N1 shot, he had an adverse reaction to the vaccine and was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes the body’s own cells to attack themselves.

“I was like a vegetable. I mean … I couldn’t walk an inch. I was in a wheelchair,” Werner said.

It was the first time Werner had ever taken had a flu shot. He said he didn’t want to, but his bosses at Coral Chemical had hired a medical clinic to vaccinate every employee.

“It was pressure. You know, ‘It’s required,’” Werner said, adding that when he hears a boss say something is required, “It’s a must as far as I’m concerned.”

Company managers have denied the vaccine was required. They have and refused to pay Werner’s workman compensation benefits.

Werner has hired an attorney to fight his case. In the meantime, he’s going through rehab.

Dr. Raymond Roose, a neurologists who’s done extensive research on vaccines, said, “The benefits of the flu vaccine far outweigh the incidents of adverse affects.”

Roos said the chances of being hospitalized with complications from the flu are 200 in 1 million. The chances of dying from flu complications are 10 in 1 million. The chances of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome from the flu are one in a million.

“It might be one in a million, but what if you’re the (one) and you have to go through what I went through, it’s not worth it,” Werner said. “In my opinion it’s not worth it all.

You can recover from Guillian Barre, but it might take several months.

Werner has been forced to pay his own medical bills while he fights with his former employee, his insurance company and his union.

The president of Coral Chemical insisted the company did nothing wrong.

In a statement, he said they’ve been offering flu vaccines since the late 1990s and it’s always been voluntary.

  • Jim Diller

    Ms. Tucker,
    This disease can lead to permanent nerve and muscle damage. You can even die from it. I have had it twice in my life. It left me with permanent tremors in both hands, weakness so bad in my left ankle it is almost useless. I suffer terrible muscle pain over 25 years later. This disease changed my life forever. Please don’t make this disease sound like a simple thing you can recover from. It is a terrible disease and as a reporter, you should have done your homework!

    • Ana

      I totally agree. My husband is currently hospitalized at the #1 rehab hospital in the country. He has been under so much pain; has no mobility of his limbs whatsoever. Due to this disease, he has complete degeneration of his muscles. His axons are not working. He has been hospitalized since January 28th. It is a horrible disease!

      None of my friends, relatives, and co-workers had ever heard of this disease. It is not too late to research this disease and share your findings with the public.

    • Jim Diller

      Mine was not caused by a flu shot. Mine was caused by my immunity system getting too low. Mine started out as the Tawian flu and then went downhill from there. I lost 25 lbs in two weeks and noticed weakness that was growning day by day. I have been warned by the dr’s to never get a flu shot due to it might start it back up again. Thanks to all that jumped on the bandwagon and stated how you felt this story was conducted. I am glad I did not feel alone with this “unknown” disease.

  • Linda G

    Jim and Ana are totally correct. I have had Guillian Barre’ Syndrome since 1999 and where I contracted it following a surgical procedure, the symptoms are ongoing today. After a lengthy inpatient rehab hospital stay, I learned to walk again (although the weakness will not allow stairs, or a ladder – that type of movement) but I have CONTINUAL issues in my limbs (weakness, shaking, loss of feeling, etc). This employer may not have “drug” the employee to take the shot, but when an employer suggests “all employee’s” are to have this company sponsored flu shot ….. type of comment ….. in this economy, MOST employees are going to take it. (the risk for GBS is rare, but it is still … A RISK. Now that I LIVE with GBS every day of what is left of my llfe, I’d take a bad case of the flu ANYDAY.

  • Gilbert Pilz

    I love Dr. Roose’s use of random statistics “200 in 1 million”, “10 in 1 million”. No info on where these statistics come from, what studies they are based on, etc.

  • alexis

    a friend of mine had GBS twice. The first time, he was totally paralyzed for over 6 months and could only move his eye lids. The second time was not as bad but he had unusual sensitivity on the bottom of his feet so bad, he could not go barefoot.

  • Lisa

    “You can recover from Guillian Barre, but it might take several months.”
    Several months? 2 years later and I am not fully recovered from my bout with GBS. Where did they hear “several months”?
    That makes it sound like he can just hop back into normal life after being out for a couple months. It doesn’t work like that.

  • keith abbott

    i received a flushot in sept of 2008 and was unable to walk for several weeks , i have been to several drs and they seemed to think immediatly, bad reaction to shot, , my heart was jumpnig out of my chest , i have missed over 1000 hrs of work and struggle to keep my business afloat , i also met another man from lake county, don he owns a flooring company of gurnee he also had his life ruined by the flu shot in 2008 , we both felt like we were 18 years old and then some one threw a swith and it was all over , i talked to over 200 people since then who have had complications such as upper body stifness and pain , burning eyes , my eyes turned completely red for 3 months , one of my dr.s fathers was unable to walk from the flushot , i have been diagnosed with severe nerve damage and i seem to be deteriorating , i now use a handicapped parking sticker in my car , it doesn’ matter what flu shot it is , they all have complications , i even told my dr. that i didn,t do good with the flushots and he assured me after telling him 2 times that i should trust him 2 days later he told my wife that he couldn’t help me and he would give me a perscription for vicadin , i have had over 200 viles of blood drawn and several tests again and again , went to the mayo clinic , went to over 30 local drs , they give you pills and send you to some one else , there are no recognized dr.s that treat the flushot injury by an insurance company and no college or medical schoolingthat teach flu shot recovery as a specialty , that would only admit that there is a problem from these shots , ii don’t beleive there is a cure for the damage caused by the flu shot , yet they still keep giving them , i have personally talked thousands of people out of getting them , how can something be in your best interest if they want you to sign a peice of paper saying they are not responsible for the consequences , keith abbott , foxlake illinois

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