27 plaintiffs have joined together to file a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories in St. Clair County Circuit Court claiming that their children suffered various birth defects because their mothers ingested Depakote during their first trimesters of pregnancy.
According to the lawsuit, Depakote was approved to help control seizures, however, the manufacturer marketed the drug for unapproved, off-label uses including migraines, bi-polar disorder, and depression. The complaint says that Abbott Labs knew that the drug was dangerous when used during pregnancy because of its propensity to cause birth defects, however, the company failed to warn consumers and their physicians about these dangers.
“Even now, when medical science has proven beyond all doubt that one out of every eight or ten babies whose mothers take Depakote during the first weeks of pregnancy will suffer some form of major congenital anomaly, Abbott refuses to state that risk on its product label, instead obliquely referring to a misleading statistic regarding a single specific defect,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says the plaintiffs children were born with various birth defects including cleft palate, cleft lip, spina bifida, mental developmental delays, heart defects, digital and limb deformities, facial dysmorphism, and genitourinary malformations, because their mothers ingested the medication during their pregnancies.
The lawsuit seeks actual damages and costs.