Depakote Birth Defects Lawsuit Filed in Illinois
A civil lawsuit has been filed in Illinois against Abbott Laboratories, the maker of the epilepsy drug Depakote, alleging that the drug caused serious birth defects.
According to reports, the suit was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court by Rhealyn Alexander, whose daughter was born in October 2007 with spina bifida. Spina bifida stems from a neural tube defect that prevents the spinal column from forming correctly.
In the suit, Ms. Alexander acknowledges that she was taking Depakote during the first trimester of her pregnancy as treatment for a seizure disorder. Ms. Alexander claims that her daughter’s condition is the direct result of Depakote side effects. Ms. Alexander is citing negligence on the part of Abbott Laboratories in failing to warn physicians and consumers of the potential for serious birth defects as a result of taking the drug.
According to the suit, the plaintiff alleges that Abbott Laboratories was aware of the risk for birth defects in pregnant mothers using the drug but did nothing to deter doctors from prescribing it. Ms. Alexander is seeking an unspecified amount from Abbott Laboratories to help cover the cost of her daughter’s medical bills, lost wages and court costs.
Depakote was first approved in 1978 to treat certain types of epilepsy. In 2006, the FDA released a “black box” warning regarding the potential link between Depakote and birth defects. The enhanced warning came after a study found that approximately 20% of pregnant women who used Depakote during their pregnancy gave birth to a child with a serious defect, including spina bifida, cleft palate, malformed limbs and heart defects.
The results of a study published in May 2010 also found that Depakote use could have a serious impact on an unborn fetus as early as the first 28 days following conception, which is when most crucial development takes place.
This newest lawsuit comes on the heels of a $1.3 billion settlement Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay the federal government. In that case, the company was found to have marketed Depakote for unapproved uses, including treatment for autism, dementia and other serious conditions.
If you were prescribed Depakote during your pregnancy and your child was born with serious birth defects, you too may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries. We know that having a child with special needs can quickly deplete your financial resources, especially if you’re unable to work or face staggering medical bills. You need to speak with a qualified Depakote Birth Defects attorney right away to discuss your claim.
At the law firm of Nadrich & Cohen, we specialize in investigating the claims of mothers like you whose children may have been adversely affected by Depakote. Contact our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-722-0765 to find out how we can help. Our Depakote birth defects experts are available to speak with you absolutely free of charge. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning there is no fee unless we obtain a judgment for you. Call us now to discuss your Depakote birth defects injury claim.