There are over 600 cases pending across the country against pharmaceutical giant Glaxo, alleging that the company continued to promote and sell the popular antidepressant, Paxil, and, while doing so, knew about and withheld evidence that the drug caused severe birth defects. The first of these cases has been tried to a verdict in Philidelphia.
Glaxo must pay $2.5 million to settle a claim that Paxil caused significant heart defects in a 3-year-old boy. Michelle David alleged that her son, Lyam Kilker, suffers from life-threatening heart defects as the result of her ingestion of Paxil while she was pregnant. After his birth, Lyam was hospitalized for several months so that doctors could repair his heart. As he grows, he will, most likely, require additional surgeries. A Philadelphia jury deliberated for seven hours before reaching the verdict. The jury refused to award punitive damages, finding Glaxo negligent, but not guilty of “outrageous conduct”. Glaxo promises an appeal and issued the following statement:
“While we sympathize with Lyam Kilker and his family, the scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to Paxil during pregnancy caused his condition. Very unfortunately, birth defects occur in 3 to 5 percent of all live births, whether or not the mother was taking medication during pregnancy.”
Active ingredients in Paxil have been linked to a host of health problems, including a higher occurrence of pulmonary hypertension, and abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs that can lead to heart failure.
David and Lyam’s attorneys, Sean Tracey of Houston and Jamie Sheller of the Philadelphia firm Sheller P.C., argued that Glaxo withheld information from consumers and regulators regarding the risk of birth defects and failed to properly test Paxil.
Paxil was initially classified as a drug with no known link to increased birth defects from its introduction in 1992. However, in 2005, the FDA began warning that Paxil may be associated with birth defects and strengthened its warning.
There are hundreds of remaining cases and attorneys representing Plaintiffs across the country will continue to press juries for a punitive damage award. The next trial is scheduled for next month in Philadelphia. The stage is set for a long battle over this controversial drug.
If you or someone you love has been effected by Paxil or other defective drug or product, you may have a right to bring a product liability lawsuit. Lawsuit Financial’s 50-state professional referral service can assist you in finding a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. If you have an attorney and are currently pursuing a lawsuit, we can provide you with product liability lawsuit funding. House payments, car payments, food, shelter, tuition, or any other important obligation can be provided with strategic and appropriate lawsuit funding. For further information, call 1-877-377-SUIT or visit www.lawsuitfinancial.com