A federal court jury in East St. Louis, IL, awarded $15 million in compensatory damages on June 9 to a boy who was born with spina bifida as a result of his mother’s use of Depakote when she was pregnant.
The case is E.G., et al. v. Abbott Laboratories Inc., No. 15-702, S.D. IL.
The jury ruled that Abbott Laboratories Inc. failed to warn Christina Raquel about the risk of birth defects when she took the drug. The mother had a prescription for the antiepileptic drug Depakote ER and her child, identified only as E.G., was born in 2007 with birth defects.
Abbott argued unsuccessfully that it did adequately warn Raquel’s physicians about the risk of Depakote during pregnancy. It also claimed that the mother failed to prove that the warning or lack of warning caused her son’s birth defects.
Raquel sought compensation for past and future medical expenses, life-care and future lost wages or reduced earning capacity.
Depakote is approved to prevent seizures, to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, for migraine prophylaxis and to treat certain types of seizures.
Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel presided over the trial. Raquel’s attorneys were John E. Williams Jr. and John T. Boundas of Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas in Houston.