Allergan Inc. has been ordered to pay $6.75 million in a drug injury lawsuit filed by a New York family, which alleged that side effects of a cerebral palsy treatment that included Botox injections caused their son to suffer a severe allergic reaction that resulted in permanent injuries. The sizeable award was handed down by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, following three weeks of testimony and three days of deliberations, and includes both compensatory and punitive damages for the injuries resulting from Botox injections for cerebral palsy treatment. If you believe your child has been harmed by a potentially defective medication like Botox, contact a reputable drug injury lawyer today for legal help.
According to allegations raised in the Botox cerebral palsy complaint, Joshua Drake, now seven years old, received Botox injections in 2012, as part of a treatment for minor calf spasticity associated with cerebral palsy. Joshua’s parents, Kevin and Lori Drake, claim that the two Botox injections their son received caused him to suffer complications like speech problems, facial swelling, vomiting, difficulty breathing and seizures. As a result of the Botox injections, the Drake family alleges, Joshua now suffers from epilepsy, and his seizures have become a permanent problem requiring constant monitoring and treatment.
Although Botox has not been approved by the FDA as a treatment for cerebral palsy, it is sometimes prescribed by doctors off-label, to treat spasticity associated with the disorder. While healthcare providers are permitted to prescribe medications for off-label purposes if they deem the treatment safe and effective, drug companies are prohibited from promoting their medications for uses not approved by the FDA. In 2010, Allergan agreed to pay $600 million in damages after pleading guilty to charges brought by the federal government accusing the company of illegally promoting Botox for the treatment of cerebral palsy.
Small quantities of the bacteria linked to the development of botulism poisoning are contained in Botox, which has been approved by the FDA for cosmetic uses, such as reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and to treat certain medical conditions, like excess sweating, crossed eyes and involuntary contractions of the neck muscles. In 2009, the FDA added a new “black box” warning to the Botox label, indicating that the drug may spread from the area of injection to other parts of the body, putting patients at risk for adverse reactions, especially when Botox is used to treat muscle spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.