A new lawsuit has been filed in the names of 36 children whose mothers took the anti-epileptic drug Depakote while they were pregnant.
The lawsuits allege that the plaintiffs suffered birth injuries as a result of their mothers’ use of the drug, including spina bifida, neural tube defects, heart defects and other congenital malformations. The defendant is the manufacturer of the drug, Abbott Laboratories, which is based in Illinois.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, where there are already more than a dozen other lawsuits pending against Abbot Laboratories. The plaintiffs are claiming diversity of citizenship and an amount in controversy of more than $75,000.
Depakote, otherwise known as valproic acid, is marketed under the brand names of Depakote ER, Depacon and Depakene. It is commonly prescribed as an anti-epileptic medication. The lawsuit claims that Abbott failed to properly design and test the medication and did not provide adequate warnings of the dangers associated with its use by pregnant women. The plaintiffs claim that the ingestion of the drug by pregnant women during the first trimester is known to cause severe birth defects.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have suffered physical and mental pain and suffering, permanent injuries, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of future earning capacity, as well as having incurred significant medical costs.