The team at The Driscoll Firm, LLC, would like to congratulate our co-counsel, Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, on achieving a $38,000,000 verdict for a catastrophically injured child and her grandparents. A St. Louis jury awarded $23 million in punitive damages on top of $15 million in actual damages to the 12-year-old girl, who was born with spina bifida after her mother took the anti-seizure drug Depakote while pregnant. Spina bifida occurs when a child’s spinal column fails to close all the way, which can lead to both physical and intellectual disabilities.
The jury decided that Abbott Labs did not do enough to warn doctors about the potential birth defects that children could suffer if their mothers took Depakote while pregnant. According to arguments presented by the plaintiff’s attorneys, Abbot failed to adequately present the potential risks associated with Depakote, instead making it seem as though Depakote was no more dangerous than other anti-epileptic drugs.
According to a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Depakote is tied to an increased risk of a number of different birth defects, one of which is spina bifida.
Court documents from this landmark case state that because of these dangers, doctors should prescribe every available alternative to pregnant women before prescribing Depakote.