March 10, 2014 — Law 360 reports that $3 million has been awarded to the family of a boy who was born with cleft lip after his mother used Topamax (topiramate) during pregnancy to prevent migraine headaches.
It is the third multi-million dollar verdict a Pennsylvania jury has awarded to victims of Topamax. In November 2013, the family of Brayden Powell was awarded $10 million in compensation for his cleft lip, numerous birth defects, and multiple surgeries yet to come.
In October 2013, the family of Blake Czimmer was awarded $4 million in compensation for his birth defects. Both of these awards are under appeal in Pennsylvania Superior Court. In February 2014, a fourth trial began.
Plaintiffs accuse Johnson & Johnson of failing to provide adequate warnings about the link between Topamax and birth defects. As early as 2000, there was evidence that babies exposed to Topamax had craniofacial defects. However, it was not until 2011 that labels were updated to include risk information about cleft lip and cleft palate.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published Safety Warnings about a 16-fold increased risk of cleft lip and cleft palate — approximately 1.4% of babies exposed to Topamax are born with oral clefts, compared to 0.38-0.55% of babies exposed to other anti-seizure drugs, and 0.07% of the general population.
The FDA recommends that doctors avoid prescribing Topamax to women of childbearing age because oral clefts occur very early in fetal development, before most women know they are pregnant. Topamax is now Pregnancy Category D, meaning that there is positive evidence of fetal harm.
Do I have a Topamax Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Topamax induced injury cases in all 50 states. If your child or somebody you know has been injured by Topamax, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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