Arizona Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices

Depakote® / Depakene® – Arizona Dangerous Drug Attorneys

Depakene - Phoenix Mass Tort Lawyers - Arizona Burg SimpsonDepakote® is a prescription drug sold by AbbVie Inc. that has been approved to treat certain seizure disorders, manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, and migraine headaches. Depakote® contains valproic acid, which scientific literature shows can lead to birth defects, cognitive deficits, and behavioral impairments.

Our Phoenix mass tort attorneys have represented survivors across the country and we are equipped to handle your mass tort litigation as well. We have the resources and experience with complicated lawsuits like these to help to get you the compensation you deserve. If you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to dangerous drugs, please call us toll-free today at 602-777-7000 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Over the years, numerous medical journals have linked several malformations in children exposed to Depakote® in utero, including:

  • Heart defects.
  • Craniosynostosis (premature closure of sutures in skull).
  • Limb defects (such as club foot or multiple fingers/toes).
  • Cleft palate/lip.
  • Eye defects.
  • Hypospadias (abnormal location of urethra in boys).

The use of Depakote® during pregnancy has also been connected with impairments such as:

  • Low IQ.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Autistic Disorder.
  • Asperger’s Disorder.
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (“PDD-NOS”).

Depakote® also has been associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida. While the rate of neural tube defects in the general population is 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent, the incidence rate in children exposed to Depakote® in the first trimester is reported to be as high as 5 percent.

Abbott Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie Inc. face hundreds of lawsuits by children alleging serious birth defects caused by the drug Depakote®, which the children’s mothers took during pregnancy. Depakote® is prescribed to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine prophylaxis. The lawsuits involve claims that Depakote® caused serious birth defect injuries, such as spina bifida, heart defects, cleft palate, and neurological complications that can result in autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. All of these injuries can have devastating impacts on children and their families.

Jury Verdict: Depakote® Caused Birth Defects
On May 26, 2015, a St. Louis jury ruled in favor of a family who alleged exposure to Depakote® during pregnancy caused their child to develop birth defects, including spina bifida. The jury found that Abbott failed to warn the mother that taking Depakote® while she was pregnant would expose her child to an unnecessary risk of serious birth defects.

The jury awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $23 million in punitive damages. Appeals in the case are ongoing.

Abbott’s $1.5 Billion Criminal Sanction
In 2012, Abbott pleaded guilty to criminal and civil charges brought by the federal government that it illegally promoted Depakote®. Abbott was ordered to pay $1.5 billion as part of a settlement of those charges. This settlement followed an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which found that Abbott promoted Depakote® for unapproved uses.

Restrictions on Use of Depakote in Pregnancy
As a result of the risk of birth defects with Depakote®, Abbott revised the Depakote® label in 2013 to warn that due to the risks to developing babies, Depakote® should not be taken by pregnant woman to treat migraine headaches. With regard to the treatment of migraines, the Depakote® was changed to “Pregnancy Category X,” which means the risk to pregnant women clearly outweighs the benefit of the drug. The revised label also warns that Depakote® should only be used during pregnancy as a last resort for seizures or bipolar disorder, if other drugs are not effective in treating the pregnant mother’s symptoms.

The updated warning label also confirms that Depakote® can cause decreased IQ scores in children exposed to the drug in the womb.

Burg Simpson Arizona continues to investigate legal claims regarding children whose mothers took Depakote® during pregnancy and who developed birth defects. Reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 602-777-7000.

On May 26, 2015, a St. Louis jury ruled in favor of a family who alleged exposure to Depakote® during pregnancy caused their child to develop birth defects, including spina bifida. The jury found that Abbott failed to warn the mother that taking Depakote® while she was pregnant would expose her child to an unnecessary risk of serious birth defects.

The jury awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $23 million in punitive damages. Appeals in the case are ongoing.

No. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of every case. We subsidize the initial costs of obtaining medical records, conducting expert reviews, and paying court filing fees. We only receive reimbursement and a fee for our work if the drug company pays your claim.

Act now to ensure your claim is filed properly, and in a timely manner. Many have already submitted claims. And hesitation could mean missing out on the opportunity to receive fair compensation. The time you have to file a claim depends on a variety of factors, including the state in which you live.

An Arizona Trial Lawyer Can Help

We pride ourselves on maintaining a personal touch with our clients. Our relationships with many other national law firms and expert consultants around the country means you have much more than Burg Simpson on your side. Call the Arizona mass tort attorneys at Burg Simpson at 602-777-7000 or fill out our FREE Case Evaluation Form HERE.

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