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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

In this matter, the parents of a child born with birth defects sued the pharmaceutical giant whose product was the alleged author of their child’s condition. The defendant denied liability. This is the second verdict of its kind respecting this particular drug.

In October ________, the plaintiff Haley B. became pregnant with Brayden G. During her pregnancy, the boy’s mother took the anti-convulsive Topamax. Her child was later born with a cleft palate and lip, birth defects linked with Topamax use during pregnancy. The child now faces a battery of surgeries in order to repair the defects and deformities of his face and nasal passages.

The parents of Brayden G. filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, naming as defendants Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. The defendant was accused of failing to warn prescribing physicians of the potential side effects of their product. The plaintiff sought recovery of compensatory and punitive damages for the numerous surgeries the children will require, as well as the emotional injury done by their condition. The plaintiffs also sought punitive damages.

The plaintiff asserted that Janssen did not advise physicians on their product’s risk of causing birth defects despite knowing about them years before the anti-convulsive was prescribed to mothers. The defendant asserted that the manufacturer’s advisories were adequate warning for any prescribing physician, and that the company had concealed no information respecting side effects of the drug.A Philadelphia jury concluded that the defendant Jannsen Pharmaceuticals was at fault for the child’s condition and awarded over $10 million in damages.

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