Nield Law Group, APC
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Lawsuit says epilepsy drug caused birth injuries

Women may be concerned about taking their usual medications during pregnancy. On one hand, medication may be necessary to treat and control diseases such as multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, pulmonary problems, or epilepsy. On the other hand, no mother wants to expose her unborn baby to possible fetal risks or a birth defect from toxic medication. Accordingly, pregnant women rely on drug companies to fully test medication prior to approving it for use during gestation. 

Recently, 36 individuals filed a lawsuit against the maker of an epilepsy drug known as valproic acid. The plaintiffs allege that the drug was unsafe for their mothers to take during pregnancy, and as a result they each suffered a long term birth injury. Some of the injuries reported include heart defects, limb deformities, neural tube deficiencies, and spina bifida, allegedly caused when the mothers ingested the drug during the first three months of their pregnancies. 

The drug maker may argue that it was unaware that the drug caused birth defects, or that testing was inconclusive. The plaintiffs believe that the manufacturer knew, or should have known, of its devastating effects on growing babies. Their lawsuit seeks damages for a number of harms, including medical expenses, permanent disabilities, loss of long-term earnings, and pain and suffering. Birth injuries can cause lifelong challenges for a child and his or her parents. Families in San Diego who believe that they did not receive proper medical care or advice during a pregnancy or birth may wish to discuss their concerns with experienced legal counsel. 

Source: Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, “Three dozen plaintiffs file another suit over Depakote; Cases mounting in So. District of Illinois,” Bethany Krajelis, May 2, 2013

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