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$11 Million Awarded To Plaintiff In Topamax Cleft Lip Lawsuit

Pregnant womanFor the second time in just one month, a jury has ordered Topamax maker Johnson & Johnson to pay millions in damages for birth defects allegedly caused by the use of the anticonvulsant drug in pregnancy. A Philadelphia jury recently ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a Topamax case involving a child who was born with cleft lip, nasal deformities and other abnormalities after being exposed to Topamax in utero. Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary currently face more than 130 Topamax lawsuits filed on behalf of children whose mothers took the anti-seizure drug while pregnant. If you believe your child has been adversely affected by a potentially dangerous medication like Topamax, contact our birth defect lawyers at Bandas Law Firm today for legal help.


Tomamax (topiramate) garnered approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997, and quickly became one of the most popular treatments for epileptic seizures, migraines and to promote weight loss. Unfortunately, mounting research has identified Topamax use in pregnancy as a risk factor for the development of birth defects in babies, including cleft lip, cleft palate and hypospadias – a malformation of the penis in boys. In March 2011, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication, which effectively elevated the pregnancy category of Topamax from C to D. When a medication is listed as Category D, it means there is positive human evidence that the drug may interfere with fetal development and cause birth defects.


Shortly after delivering a $4 million verdict last last month, a second Philadelphia jury has awarded $11 million in damages in the latest Topamax case, brought by Haley Powell, whose son Brayden was born in 2007 with birth defects including a cleft lip that may require as many as five surgeries before he turns 21. According to allegations raised in the birth defect lawsuit, Janssen withheld important safety information about the pregnancy risks associated with Topamax, and concealed information from the public and medical professionals. The previous Topamax trial ended on October 30 and involved another boy born in 2007 with numerous birth defects, including cleft lip and cleft palate.


In light of the risk of Topamax birth defects, the FDA has advised doctors to avoid prescribing the anticonvulsant to pregnant women or women of childbearing age who are at a high risk of pregnancy. If you took Topamax during pregnancy and your child was born with cleft lip, cleft palate, or another life-altering birth defect, consult our knowledgeable lawyers at Bandas Law Firm to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a birth defect lawsuit against Topamax maker Johnson & Johnson, in order to pursue financial compensation for your child’s medical expenses and pain and suffering. With our law firm on your side, you can protect your child’s legal rights and ensure that he or she receives the necessary medical care.