The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a $38 million settlement to a girl who was born with spina bifida and other severe birth defects after her mother used Depakote during pregnancy.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one 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 a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
What’s the Problem?
September 14, 2017 – The suit was filed on behalf of Maddison Schmidt, who was born with spina bifida, microcephaly, ocular coloboma, brain malformations, cognitive impairment, and is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Schmidt has required numerous surgeries including the placement of a shunt in her skull, shunt revisions, and spinal surgery to treat these profound physical ailments, according to the lawsuit.
In May 2015, a St. Louis jury awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $23 million in punitive damages to Schmidt after finding that Abbott had failed to warn her mother about the risk of birth defects with Depakote.
FDA classifies Depakote in Pregnancy Category X, which means that studies have found evidence of human fetal risk, and the risks of use during pregnancy are greater than any potential benefits.
However, when Maddison’s mother took Depakote in 2002, the labeling had not been changed for almost 20 years. It was so outdated that lawyers accused Abbott of intentionally downplaying the risk in order to increase profits.
The 2002 Depakote labeling did warn that 1-2% of exposed fetuses would go on to develop spina bifida, but this actually means that Depakote increases risk of the defect by more than 2000%. Depakote is now known to cause birth defects in at least 10% of babies who are exposed to it, according to the lawsuit.
Abbott appealed the verdict and requested a new trial; however, in November 2016 the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the award.
Do I Have a Depakote Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action 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 defect cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if your child was harmed by the side effects of Depakote, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a class action suit and we can help.