St. Louis Family Receives $15 Million Jury Verdict over Depakote Birth Defect
When a St. Louis mother took the epilepsy medication Depakote during her pregnancy, she had no idea that the drug was causing her unborn daughter to develop spina bifida, a birth defect in which a child’s spinal cord fails to develop properly in the womb. The family filed a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, AbbVie, claiming that the Abbott Laboratories spin-off company did not properly warn her of the birth defect risks associated with Depakote, which also include abnormal skull and limb development, holes in the heart, and other complications.
In May 2015, a St. Louis jury ordered AbbVie to pay $15 million for the child’s life-long medical expenses and the family’s pain and suffering. The company may face additional damages during the second phase of the trial for recklessly endangering unborn children.