A federal court jury has awarded $15 million to a mother whose son was born with spina bifida due to her use of Depakote while pregnant.

Abbott Laboratories was found to have failed in providing an adequate warning to plaintiff Christina Raquel’s physicians regarding the risks of taking a drug prescribed for certain aspects of bi-polar disease, while pregnant.

The trial began May 19, with closing arguments held in U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel's court on June 7.

Abbott, represented by a team of attorneys at Venable in Baltimore, as well as Joel Smith of Bowman and Brooke of Columbia, S.C., Dan Ball of Bryan Cave in St. Louis, and others, argued that it had adequately warned Raquel’s physicians.

The drug maker also argued that Raquel could not prove that the content of the warning caused the child's injuries, and that Raquel could not prove the child sustained damages to the extent claimed.

Local attorneys Christopher Cueto and Michael Gras of Belleville were among co-lead counsel for Raquel.

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
301 W Main St
Benton, IL - 62812

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