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

Susan DeMatteo, individually, on behalf of her minor child and on behalf of more than a dozen other plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories Inc. Sept. 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, DeMatteo and several other plaintiffs say their children were born with spina bifida and neural tube defects along with other birth defects. DeMatteo claims she was one of many who were prescribed the seizure medication Depakote by their physicians, despite the known risks it allegedly posed to them and their unborn children. The plaintiffs contend the main ingredient of Depakote, valproic acid, is known to cause severe birth defects if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. DeMatteo and the others allege Abbott Laboratories misled doctors who prescribed 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.

DeMatteo and the other plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Christopher Cueto and Michael Gras of Belleville. John T. Boundas, Steven J. Kherkher and Sejal K. Brahmbhatt of Houston also represent the group.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-462

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