Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Settlement Talks for Topamax Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson, along with their subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, have agreed to enter settlement talks with plaintiffs in 76 Topamax personal injury lawsuits.
Topamax is an anti-seizure and migraine medication that was approved by the FDA in 1996 in the brand name form, and then as the generic topiramate in 2006. The drug allegedly causes birth defects, including cleft lip, in the babies of women who took the drug during their pregnancies.
The settlement talks were announced in Pennsylvania state court in the first week of April. Reportedly, J&J faces 60 additional Topamax cases that have been centralized in Philadelphia.
In October 2013, a jury awarded $4 million to the family of Blake Czimmer, who was born with numerous birth defects. The following month, the family of Brayden Powell, another child with several birth defects due to Topamax use, was awarded $11 million, in part to help pay for the many surgeries he required. In March of this year, the family of Payton Anderson was awarded $3 million for Topamax-related birth defects.
A fourth Topamax lawsuit was settled out of court in March as well, for an undisclosed sum.
In addition to the numerous Topamax personal injury lawsuits, in 2010, Johnson & Johnson paid over $81 million to the US Department of Justice to settle an inquiry into off-label marketing of Topamax. The US DOJ claimed that J&J marketed Topamax for off-label uses through a program called “Doctor-for-a-Day,” in which J&J allegedly hired outside physicians to visit doctors’ offices along with Topamax sales representatives, to speak to health care professionals at meetings and dinners about off-label uses of Topamax.
While it was sold as a brand name drug, over 32 million prescriptions for Topamax were filled between January 2007 and December 2010. However, on March 4, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration released a warning to pregnant and potentially pregnant women who took Topamax warning that their child may face higher than normal chances of having a child born with a defect.
Several studies from the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register and Neurology medical journal claims there is a link between Topamax and an increased risk of birth defects. The reports state the increased rate of birth defects gave children a 21.3% increased chance of a cleft lip or palate to a 16-fold increase in overall birth defects when the mother took Topamax throughout the pregnancy.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Claims Related to Topamax
The pharmaceutical liability lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC are at the forefront of the fight to protect the public and will stand up for your rights against the big drug and insurance companies and fight to ensure that you and your loved ones receive the justice you deserve. If you or a loved one took Topamax during pregnancy and the child was born with birth defects, you may be entitled to compensation to help with lost wages and medical bills. Contact our defective drug and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case as well as your legal rights.