GlaxoSmithKline Plc must pay $2.5 M over claims that its Paxil antidepressant caused birth defects, a Pennsylvania jury concluded in the first of 600 such cases to come to trial.
Jurors in state court in Philadelphia deliberated about seven hours over two days before finding Glaxo failed to properly warn doctors and pregnant users of Paxil’s risk. The panel awarded $2.5 million in compensatory damages to the family of Lyam Kilker. The 3-year-old was born with heart defects his mother blamed on the drug.
It’s the first time a jury has considered claims that Glaxo, the U.K.’s largest drugmaker, knew Paxil caused birth defects and hid the risk to increase profits. The drug was approved for U.S. use in 1992.
In the Kilker case, jurors found 10-2 that Glaxo officials “negligently failed to warn” the doctor treating Lyam’s mother about Paxil’s risks and concluded the medicine was a “factual cause” of the child’s heart defects.
The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court panel also found that Glaxo’s handling of the drug wasn’t “outrageous,” meaning the family couldn’t seek punitive damages against the drugmaker.
Jurors awarded the family more than double the $1.2 million they had sought for Kilker’s past and future medical care and other damages caused by the heart defects.
Glaxo is also fighting suits in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. over claims that Paxil, whose generic name is paroxetine, causes homicidal and suicidal behavior. The company settled some suicide claims, under undisclosed terms.
In 2004, the drugmaker agreed to pay the state of New York $2.5 million to resolve claims that officials suppressed research showing Paxil may increase suicide risk in young people. The settlement required Glaxo to publicly disclose the studies.
In 2001, a jury in Cheyenne, Wyoming, ordered Glaxo to pay $6.4 million to the relatives of a man who shot his family to death and then turned the gun on himself after taking Paxil.
The Philadelphia case is Kilker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. dba GlaxoSmithKline, 2007-001813, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
If you or a family member has been personally injured because of the fault of someone else: by the use of dangerous and defective drugs, bad products, or toxic injury etc then please contact the Arlington Texas Paxil Birth Defect Drug Product Liability Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.
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