AbbVie Hit With $15 Million Jury Verdict in Depakote Spina Bifida Case

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Plaintiff claims the child’s spina bifida was due to his mother taking Depakote during her pregnancy.

AbbVie Inc. has been ordered to pay $15 million to compensate a boy who was born with spina bifida after his mother took the drug Depakote for bipolar disorder during her pregnancy. According to a Bloomberg news report, jurors in federal court in Illinois delivered the verdict for a California boy after nearly three days of deliberations. The boy, now 10, was born with spina bifida (a condition
where the spinal cord is not properly developed) and has already undergone 12 surgeries. Currently, there are about 700 similar lawsuits pending in U.S. courts. Unfortunately, many people have been injured as a result of taking Depakote and if you are one of these people, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Depakote lawyer who can help you.

What Is The Basis For These Lawsuits?

Plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that Abbott and AbbVie failed to disclose the risks of birth defects including spina bifida that have been associated with Depakote. In fact, studies linking the drug to birth defects prompted federal regulators in 2006 to require Abbott to put a strong pregnancy-use warning on the drug’s safety label. The following year, Abbott and other manufacturers of anti-seizure drugs were also forced to enhance warnings about their products’ suicide risks.

However, Abbott never warned doctors that the overall risk of birth defects from Depakote was 10.7 percent, attorneys for the plaintiff stated in the most recent case. Abbott knew that by May 2004 the reported risk of birth defects linked to Depakote had risen way above what the warning label stated, according to an internal memo. Even though that memo was written even before the boy was conceived, Abbott did not update the warning or warn doctors about the higher risk. Depakote has also been linked to other birth defects such as bone defects, cleft palate and retarded growth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul d’Oliveira
Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 29 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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