SOURCE: Anapol Schwartz

Anapol Schwartz

November 01, 2013 16:08 ET

Anapol Schwartz Comments on $4 Million Topamax Verdict

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Nov 1, 2013) - A Philadelphia jury decided Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit must pay $4.02 million in damages to a Virginia woman who gave birth to a boy with cleft lip in 2006 after using Topamax for six months. The decision was announced after less than an hour of jury deliberation.

The case is the first of about 134 Topamax lawsuits pending in state court in Philadelphia. Plaintiffs claim Janssen Pharmaceuticals knew in the early 2000s that Topamax increases an unborn baby's risks of developing oral cleft conditions including cleft palate and lip, and that the company negligently failed to warn pregnant women of the risks.* Had the company divulged information about the risks sooner, the plaintiff could have avoided the birth defects that have required her son to undergo four surgeries.**

"The plaintiffs proved that Janssen knew of these dangers for a long time but did not inform doctors or patients of the extent of the risk," said attorney Jim Ronca of Anapol Schwartz. "This case once again demonstrates how the civil justice system protects all of us from companies who violate the rules."

Ronca was directly involved in the Topamax litigation, having taken some of the key depositions and assuming responsibility for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expert. In addition, Sol Weiss of Anapol Schwartz acted as Court Liaison Counsel to this case.

The FDA alerted the public of the oral cleft risks associated with Topamax in 2011. The agency also reclassified Topamax as a Pregnancy Category D drug, which means there is positive evidence of human fetal risk associated with the drug approved to treat epilepsy and prevent migraine headaches. The medication is still prescribed for some pregnant women when the potential benefits of the drug outweigh the risks.***

The case is titled Czimmer v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., 110503459, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania and was tried by attorneys Scott Love and Tommy Fibbich.

About Anapol Schwartz
Anapol Schwartz is a national leader in personal injury, product liability and pharmaceutical litigation, having successfully litigated thousands of cases in state and federal courts during the last 36 years. The firm has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in successful verdicts, settlements and judgments on behalf of its clients.

*businessweek.com/news/2013-10-30/j-and-j-s-janssen-must-pay-4-million-over-topamax-jury-says-1
**bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-30/j-j-s-first-trial-over-seizure-drug-topamax-goes-to-jury.html
***fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm245085.htm

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