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Special Master Appointed in Depakote Birth Defects Trial

Daniel J. Stack has been appointed special master in an upcoming trial alleging birth defects from Depakote.

An Illinois judge has tapped retired state judge Daniel J. Stack as special master in an upcoming trial alleging birth defects from the anticonvulsant drug Depakote (generic: valproic acid).

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was born with birth defects after the mother took Depakote during pregnancy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

April 11, 2017 – U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel said that Stack’s initial duties would be to organize the parties’ objections to deposition designations and then make recommendations on those issues. Given that the next trial in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) is scheduled to begin on May 23, Stack also reserves the right to expand his role to include additional duties, such as evaluating motions and recommending rulings.

Stack served as a circuit judge in Illinois for 24 years until his retirement in 2010. Since then, he has been a special master in multidistrict litigations involving Yaz, Yasmin and Pradaxa.

He also presided over the first jury trial in the Midwest alleging injuries from the painkiller Vioxx (generic: rofecoxib), which was recalled in September 2004 after being linked to a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

In the upcoming trial, Plaintiff Michelle Leal claims that her use of Depakote for seizures caused her son J.F.’s spina bifida, a severe birth defect characterized by the failure of the backbone and spinal cord to close before birth.

Abbott claims that in 2006, the year of most of Leal’s pregnancy, Abbott put all-caps warnings about the risk of birth defects on the labeling of Depakote.

The case was originally chosen as a bellwether trial scheduled to begin in June 2016. However, in May Abbott filed a motion seeking to exclude the testimony of physician Olaf Bodamer concerning J.F.’s behavioral problems and mild cognitive impairment, saying it was too speculative.

Do I Have a Depakote Lawsuit?

The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Depakote lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if your child was injured by Depakote side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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