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ARTICLE ID 192695

$________ PHARMACEUTICAL LIABILITY – TOPAMAX LITIGATION – DEFENDANT PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY KNEW OF THE POTENTIAL FOR TOPAMAX TO CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS WHEN ADMINISTERED TO PREGNANT AND FAILED TO WARN THE PUBLIC OF THE DANGERS.

Philadelphia County, PA

Topamax, also known by its generic name topiramate, belongs to a category of drugs known as anticonvulsants. It is prescribed to treat epilepsy and prevent migraine headaches. Topamax is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals (formerly Ortho-McNeil), a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. The plaintiffs maintained that the defendant drug company knew of the potential for Topamax to cause birth defects as early as ________ and intentionally withheld this information from the public. The defendants denied withholding information and maintained that proper warnings were issued with the drug with the information the defendant’s had at the time.

In August of ________, the female plaintiff was prescribed the drug Topamax for treatment of severe migraine headaches. She was on the prescription until February of ________. In September of ________, the plaintiff mother gave birth to a son who was born with cleft lip and cleft palate. The plaintiffs maintained that the defendant drug company knew that Topamax had the potential for causing oral birth defects, but failed to warn of the potential side effects. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant failed to warn the prescribing doctors and thereby the patients taking the drug of the risks of known defects, and concealing safety reports of the dangers of Topamax use and birth defects.

The defense argued that instances of oral birth defects cannot necessarily be linked to Topamax as cleft lip and cleft palate are relatively common birth defects affecting approximately ________ newborns each year. In addition, the defense maintained that it provided adequate warnings with the information that they had available to them at the time.The jury awarded Blake Czimmer $________ in future health care costs and $________ for pain and suffering.

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