Lynette Rowe of Melbourne, Australia has reached a multimillion dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit filed against a distributor of the anti-morning sickness drug Thalidomide. The manufacturer of the drug, Grunenthal has refused to settle.
Rowe was born without legs or arms allegedly because her mother used Thalidomide during her pregnancy. The drug was used as a morning sickness treatment during the 1950s and 1960s. Thalidomide was removed from the market in the 1960s after being linked to birth defects, and has been associated with birth deformities in thousands of babies worldwide.
Regarding the settlement, Rowe said in a statement, “It is great that my case will bring about good things for other people too. It shows you don’t need arms and legs to change the world. Like I always say: see the person, not the disability.”
Grunenthal released a statement saying it will continue to defend itself against the class action lawsuit. “Grunenthal maintains that its actions were consistent with the state of scientific knowledge and the prevailing standards for pre-marketing and testing of the pharmaceutical industry in the 1950s. Grunenthal believes that it acted responsibly in the development of Thalidomide, and greatly regrets the consequences of the Thalidomide tragedy.”
Rowe’s attorney said the amount of the settlement will not be released, however the amount is “sufficient to provide a very good level of care for Lyn for the rest of her life,” The Washington Post reports.