The Supreme Court of Missouri has sustained a jury’s award of $38 million to a girl born with spina bifida after her mother took Abbott’s epilepsy medication Depakote during pregnancy, ruling there was evidence that Abbott knew the birth defect risk printed on the drug was more severe than the verbiage suggested.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by the side effects of Depakote, 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?
September 15, 2017 – The court voted unanimously to affirm the St. Louis jury’s award to 14-year-old Maddison Schmidt over her allegations that Abbott Laboratories Inc. failed to warn about the risk of birth defects with Depakote, but did split 4-3 on the reasons for doing so.
Judge W. Brent Powell in his opinion rejected Abbott’s argument that Depakote labels adequately warned as a matter of law, stating that it failed its most important test: to be complete and accurate, so as not to mislead the public.
Powell further noted that Depakote labels stated that use of antiepileptics could increase the risk of birth defects, and that the CDC had estimated the risk of spina bifida was 1-2%. However, the prosecution showed that the risk of birth defects was up to 10%, and that the risk of spina bifida was even higher.
“As Depakote’s label did not reflect this relevant information, a reasonable inference could be drawn from this evidence that Abbott’s warning was not complete and accurate and, therefore, did not adequately warn,” the judge wrote.
Abbott and its subsidiary AbbVie Inc., which has owned the rights to Depakote since 2013, are facing thousands of plaintiffs who say the company didn’t do enough to warn expecting mothers about the risk of severe birth defects in their children.
Schmidt was born in 2003 with spina bifida and other birth defects including microcephaly and brain malformations, is paralyzed and lacks bowel and bladder control, and is severely cognitively impaired, according to the lawsuit. She filed the complaint in Missouri state court, joined with similar claims brought by 24 other people, in May 2012.
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 injury cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if your child was born with a birth defect 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 we can help.