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Topamax Birth Defect Award Upheld

By August 28, 2014March 14th, 2022Dangerous Drugs

In November of last year, a Topamax plaintiff was awarded $11 million in compensation.    The case, Gurley v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical, occurred in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Topamax appealed the decision, but Judge George W. Overton recently denied the defendant’s motion for a new trial and upheld the verdict.  The defendant who appealed was Johnson & Johnson, as Janssen Pharmaceuticals is the company’s subsidiary. 

The fact that the verdict was upheld is good news for the family who was affected by serious complications from the anticonvulsant medication Topamax.  It is also good news for other plaintiffs who have pending claims against Johnson & Johnson for problems that the drug allegedly caused them.  While every case is different, drug companies are often more likely to settle claims after large plaintiff’s verdicts and large verdicts mean that juries may view Topamax birth defect cases favorably.

If your child was born with a birth defect after exposure to Topamax during fetal development, it is important that you understand your legal rights. Carey, Danis & Lowe can help you to pursue a claim for compensation from the drug company for your damages and losses resulting from a Topamax birth defect. Call today to speak with a member of our legal team and learn more.

Topamax Case Results in Large Verdict for Plaintiff

The case in which the jury awarded $11 million involved a child who was born with a severe cleft palate after exposure to Topamax during fetal development.  The FDA and numerous medical studies have acknowledged that Topamax significantly increases the risk of this birth defect.

The child has already undergone multiple surgeries because of the severe cleft palate. Unfortunately, ongoing consultations with a plastic surgeon are necessary and the child faces additional procedures including dental and oral surgery. Speech therapy and auditory evaluations will be necessary and the child may require a rhinoplasty as well as psychological counseling because of the multiple procedures as well as the emotional challenges that the cleft palate presents.

Even with the surgeries, it is unlikely that the cleft palate will ever be fully corrected. As a result, the judge noted that the child is likely to experience ongoing difficulties in communication. Speech difficulties are also likely to become worse as a result of residual scarring following the multiple surgical procedures.

The lasting damage, coupled with accusations that the company knew of the risks of cleft palates as far back as 1997, mean that the damage award was justified and that it should stand. Drug companies must pay to fully compensate victims if their medications cause unexpected harm, and Johnson & Johnson is responsible here for the damage their product caused to the child and family.

Carey, Danis & Lowe can represent others who have been affected by dangerous drugs and defective medications including Topamax. Call today if your child suffered a cleft palate or other birth defects and learn more about how a St. Louis defective drug lawyer can help you.