By Sam Tobin
LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca is facing two London lawsuits, including one from the husband of a woman who died after receiving the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine, in the first of potentially dozens of cases brought in England.
Britain was the first country to roll out the at-cost AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021, although it later restricted the use of it among under 40s due to the small risk of blood clots.
Anish Tailor, whose wife Alpa died in March 2021 after receiving her first dose of the vaccine, filed a product liability claim against AstraZeneca at London's High Court on Aug. 4, according to court records.
His lawyer Peter Todd, from the law firm Scott-Moncrieff & Associates, told Reuters that he has nearly 50 other clients who will formally sue AstraZeneca in the coming months.
AstraZeneca declined to comment on active legal cases. A spokesperson said in a statement: "Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines.
"Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems."
AstraZeneca is facing a similar lawsuit from Jamie Scott, who was diagnosed with vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, which can cause fatal blood clotting, after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Scott filed a product liability lawsuit against AstraZeneca on Monday, according to court records. No filings or further details about the case were immediately available.
Hausfeld, the law firm representing Scott, said it represents around 40 other individuals or bereaved families.
Sarah Moore, a lawyer at Hausfeld, said in a statement that Scott had "suffered life-changing injuries which have severely impacted not only him, but those close to him".
She said Scott will argue AstraZeneca is "liable to compensate him for what he has suffered so that he can rebuild his life as far as possible and ensure the security of his family".
The two cases are the first lawsuits brought in England and Wales over an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, according to publicly-available court records.
(Reporting by Sam Tobin; editing by David Evans)