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$15M awarded in fetal injury Depakote case

A 10-year-old boy was recently awarded $15 million by a federal jury in a case against the company that manufactures a drug known as Depakote. The boy's mother took the drug for bipolar disorder while she was pregnant with him, and she claims that this caused him to be born with a birth defect. Fetal injury from prescription drugs continues to be a problem not only in Louisiana but in states all across the country.

The woman filed a lawsuit because her son was born with spina bifida. She stated that she was not given adequate warning that the medication could cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Compensatory damages were awarded to her son, but no punitive damages were given by the jury.

There are still almost 700 injury claims related to the drug pending in both federal and state courts. In 2012, the manufacturer was accused of promoting the medication for uses that the U.S. health regulators had not approved. They agreed to pay $1.6 billion. According to lawyers for the manufacturer, doctors had been warned about the drug. 

When an unborn baby in Louisiana suffers a fetal injury for any reason, including because of a drug that was taken by the mother during pregnancy, the family may choose to file a personal injury claim on the victim's behalf. Medical malpractice suits such as this allow the victim to receive damages for the loss of a normal life, as well as other claims. Those who are considering such a lawsuit may choose to consult with a personal injury attorney who can advise the client on the best way to proceed.

Source: reuters.com, "AbbVie must pay $15 million in Depakote birth-defect trial: jury", Nate Raymond, June 9, 2017

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