Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Jun 23, 2017 in Class Actions
On June 9, a federal jury ordered pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie Inc. to pay $15 million in damages to a California mother who alleged her son's spina bifida diagnosis was caused by Depakote, a drug she took during her pregnancy to treat bipolar depression.
The mother's attorney alleged that she and her physicians were not adequately warned of the risks associated with Depakote use during pregnancy.
Her attorney claimed doctors were never warned that the birth defect risk associated with Depakote was as high as 10.7 percent, much higher than the number on the drug's warning label.
The plaintiff’s attorney described Depakote as one of the most toxic medications to a fetus.
The verdict compensates the mother for her 10-year-old son's past, current and future medical bills. The boy must use a wheelchair and has undergone 12 surgeries due to his spina bifida.
AbbVie Inc. did not say whether it plans to appeal the verdict.
If you took Depakote while pregnant and your child suffers from spina bifida or another birth defect, you may be able to file a Depakote lawsuit to recover compensation for damages.
The Savannah Depakote lawyers at The Nye Law Group can review your claim in a free legal consultation. If you have a case, we are prepared to aggressively pursue all of the compensation you are owed.
This is not the first time that AbbVie has been ordered to pay compensation over birth defects caused by Depakote.
In 2015, a jury in St. Louis awarded $38 million in damages, including $23 million in punitive damages, to the family of a child who was diagnosed with spina bifida.
However, there were three other cases where federal juries ruled in AbbVie's favor. The juries found that the Depakote label allowed doctors to make informed decisions about prescribing the drug.
There are approximately 700 Depakote lawsuits pending across the nation. The next trial is scheduled to begin in July, with another trial scheduled for September.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued numerous warnings about the risks of pregnant women taking Depakote.
This includes a black-box warning issued in 2006 after a study revealed that taking Depakote during pregnancy increased the risk of birth defects, such as:
Another black-box warning was issued in 2009 to explain the risk of neural tube defects from Depakote.
Drug manufacturers have a legal obligation to produce safe medications or provide adequate warnings about the dangers of their medications.
If manufacturers fail to do either of these things, they could be held liable for the physical, financial and emotional damages suffered by those who take these medications.
The Depakote lawyers of The Nye Law Group can manage every aspect of your claim, conducting a thorough investigation to build a strong case.
An initial consultation with our team of Savannah personal injury attorneys is free and you are under no obligation to continue legal action. If you have a case and decide to proceed, you will not be charged legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.