Depakote® is a prescription drug produced and sold by AbbVie, Inc. that is approved to treat certain seizure disorders, manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, and migraine headaches. Depakote® contains valproic acid, which has been shown by scientific research to cause birth defects, cognitive deficits, and behavioral impairments.
Our mass tort attorneys represent survivors of Depakote® nationwide. We have the resources and experience to handle complex lawsuits and help get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a dangerous prescription medication such as Depakote® or Depakene, call us today at (720) 500-5854 or fill out our FREE case evaluation.
Potential Birth Defects from Depakote® Use
Medical journals point to a wide range of malformations in children exposed to Depakote® in utero, including:
- Heart defects
- Craniosynostosis (premature closure of sutures in the skull)
- Limb defects (such as club foot or multiple fingers/toes)
- Cleft palate/lip
- Eye defects
- Hypospadias (abnormal location of urethra in males)
- Other major malformations and birth defects
Additionally, Depakote® use during pregnancy may cause cognitive impairments, such as:
- Low IQ
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Asperger’s Disorder
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS)
Depakote/Depakene 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 to 0.2 percent, the incidence rate in children exposed to Depakote in the first trimester of pregnancy is reported to be as high as 5 percent.
Jury Verdict Against Abbott (May 26, 2015)
Abbott Pharmaceutical and AbbVie Inc. face hundreds of lawsuits by parents of children alleging serious birth defects caused by Depakote use during pregnancy. Depakote is prescribed to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraine prophylaxis. The lawsuits center around claims that Depakote caused serious birth defects, such as spina bifida, heart defects, cleft palate, and neurological complications that can result in autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. All 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 Abbot 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. Abbott is expected to appeal.
Abbott’s $1.5 Billion Criminal Sanction
In 2012, Abbott pleaded guilty to criminal and civil charges by the U.S. government that it illegally promoted Depakote. Abbott was required to pay $1.5 billion as part of a settlement for those charges. The settlement was followed by an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which found that Abbott promoted Depakote for unapproved uses.
Restrictions on the Use of Depakote During Pregnancy
As a result of the risk of birth defects associated with Depakote, in 2013 Abbott revised the Depakote label that due to the risks, the drug should not be taken by pregnant women to treat migraine headaches. 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 woman’s symptoms. The updated warning label also confirms Depakote can cause decreased IQ scores in children exposed to the drug in the womb.
Burg Simpson is currently investigating legal claims regarding children whose mothers took Depakote during pregnancy and who developed birth defects.
Will It Cost Me Anything to Find out If I Have a Claim?
No, we offer clients a free, no-obligation case evaluation. We pay the cost of obtaining your medical records, any expert reviews, and court filing fees. We only receive reimbursement and a fee for our work if the drug company pays your claim. Visit the FAQ page for more details.
What’s My Next Step?
Act now to ensure your claim is filed on time. Many people have already submitted claims. Indecision could mean losing the opportunity to receive just compensation. The time you have in which to file a claim depends on a variety of factors, including the state in which you live, because there many be statutes of limitations to consider.
Why Choose Burg Simpson for Your Mass Tort Claim?
Powerful Firm. Personal Touch.
With our resources and experience, we can provide the level of service that smaller firms often cannot match, while still retaining the personal touch you deserve. We maintain close relationships with many other national law firms and expert consultants to ensure we can offer you quality legal representation.
Burg Simpson has more than 70 lawyers and has helped more than 10,000 clients in our 40 year history. Burg Simpson was named a #1 Products Liability Law Firm in the U.S. by Martindale-Hubbell.
If you or a loved own have been injured by a dangerous prescription drug, contact one of our experienced mass tort lawyers today by calling (720) 500-5854 or filling out our FREE case evaluation form.