An Illinois drug company is accused of causing numerous birth defects after dozens of patients allegedly took one of its seizure medications during pregnancy.

Nicolas Battle, individually and on behalf of more than a dozen others, filed a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories Inc. June 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, Battle and several other plaintiffs were born with spina bifida and neural tube defects, along with other birth defects. Battle claims his mother was one of many women who were prescribed the seizure medication Depakote by their physicians during pregnancy, despite the known risks it allegedly posed to the patients and their unborn children.

Battle cotends the main ingredient of Depakote, valproic acid, is known to cause severe birth defects if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. Battle and the other plaintiffs allege Abbott Laboratories misled doctors who prescribe the drug about the dangers of its ingestion.

The group accuses Abbott Laboratories of negligence for manufacturing and marketing a defective drug. They ask for an undetermined amount of money in damages for medical expenses, future loss of income and court costs.

Battle is represented by attorneys Christopher Cueto and Michael Gras, of Belleville, and Robert L. Salim, of Natchitoches, La. Attorneys Jeff Meyer, Ralph D. McBride, Douglas A. Daniels and Kathleen B. Jennings, all of Houston, Texas are also listed as attorneys for the plaintiffs.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-294

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