In July 2010, GlaxoSmithKilne (GSK), the manufacturer of Paxil, agreed to a settlement of more than $1 billion to resolve more than 800 Paxil lawsuits that had been filed against the company alleging Paxil-related heart defects. The agreement brought the total amount paid by the company to settle Paxil-related cases to more than $2 billion.
The average payment under the July 2010 Paxil settlement agreement was $1.2 million. Experts say that the high settlement amounts were due to the serious nature of the heart-related birth defects that were caused by taking Paxil during pregnancy, and due to the fact that the victims in the case were children.
GSK agreed to settle these 800 Paxil cases following a ruling earlier that month in which the company was ordered to pay damages of $2.5 million in a birth defects lawsuit filed in Philadelphia. Jurors in that case ruled that Lyam Kilker, whose mother took Paxil while pregnant, suffered birth defects that were caused by his exposure to the antidepressant while in the womb.
During the Kilker trial, lawyers for the family presented evidence that officials at GSK tried to hide studies showing the link between Paxil and birth defects, and the risk of side effects to newborns. Jurors ruled that Paxil was the cause of the heart defects suffered by Lyam Kilker, and that GSK failed to properly warn his family’s doctor about the health risks of taking the antidepressant during pregnancy.
GSK is still facing more than 100 lawsuits filed on behalf of children who suffered birth defects after their mothers took Paxil while they were pregnant. Despite the large amounts it agreed to pay in settlements and several studies which have linked Paxil to an increased risk of heart defects and other birth defects, neither GSK nor the Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to issue a Paxil recall.
If you or a loved one tool Paxil, Zoloft or other antidepressant drugs while pregnant and gave birth to a child with heart defects or other birth defects, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP to learn more about your rights. You can call our toll-free number at 1-888-776-5552, or fill out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.