Tuesday in St. Louis, Missouri, a Minnesota girl was awarded $15 million in damages stemming from the drug, Depakote that caused her to have birth defects. Furthermore, 12-year-old, Maddison Schmidt has had several birth defects including spina bifida since her mother had taken Depakote while pregnant with her. The jury decided on a unanimous verdict and is now deliberating whether or not to award punitive damages as well.
In the lawsuit, it was argued that the maker of the drug, Abbott, downplayed the potential dangers and serious side effects of Depakote. Likewise, it was alleged that Abbott refused to communicate the extent of the risks involved with its product and did not label warnings to physicians or consumers. Moreover, during testing, Depakote was found to decrease IQ scores in children.
There are two dozen more plaintiffs in the suit, and some are from the St. Louis area. Although Abbott are the makers of Depakote, AbbVie Inc. is the company responsible for any financial verdicts. In 2013, Abbott turned its branding business into AbbVie Inc. and acquired the new business to assume business related liabilities that occurred before they connected. In 2012, Abbott had to pay a $1.5 billion settlement to the federal government for the unlawful promotion of Depakote for uses that were not approved by the FDA.
In 2013, the FDA issued a safety announcement regarding the use of Depakote use while pregnant. In addition, it was found that Depakote is in a class of drugs based on valproate sodium, and should not be used during pregnancy to combat migraines.
Depakote is an anti-epileptic drug and is now only to be used by pregnant women that have epilepsy or bipolar disorder only if other forms of medications are not working or otherwise unacceptable. Another off-label brand of Depakote is available for elderly patients with dementia and people with schizophrenia.The skilled St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth are currently representing cases similar to Depakote. Right now, our experienced attorneys are handling a case of a mother that took Zoloft while pregnant and had a baby with severe birth defects. Please contact us today so we can help you recover from your traumatic experience, and receive the fair financial compensation you deserve. All consultations are free and confidential, and we look forward to heari