HOUSTON, May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of reported autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases in the United States has skyrocketed by more than 750% since 1998. The ASD epidemic has coincided with the explosive increase in the use antidepressants during pregnancy. The number of women of childbearing age taking antidepressants increased 400% between 1994 and 2008. Since 2011, epidemiological studies have reported an increased risk of ASD in children of mothers who took antidepressants like Paxil® during pregnancy.
GlaxoSmithKline, plc (GSK) developed and marketed Paxil® and has been litigating for more than a decade against cases brought on behalf of children born with congenital birth defects allegedly linked to Paxil® exposure during pregnancy. In 2005, at FDA's request, GSK revised the Paxil® pregnancy warning to include a statement that Paxil® use during pregnancy may increase the risk of fetal harm. Paxil® is the only antidepressant to include this warning.
Adam Peavy, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, says, "These are the first of what we believe will be many cases that will be filed against GSK on behalf of children with autism spectrum disorder."
The alarming increase in the number of ASD cases has imposed a tremendous economic cost upon the nation, local school districts and families. The CDC estimates that the total economic cost per year for children with ASD ranges from $11.5 billion - $60.9 billion (2011 US dollars).
Children with ASD have higher medical costs than children without ASD. That burden is shared by taxpayers, as children with ASD enrolled in Medicaid have costs six times higher than those without ASD. The greatest economic burden is placed upon public schools, which must bear the economic costs of federally mandated services for children with ASD.
The CDC reports that the annual cost to provide rehabilitative and intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD range from $40,000 to $60,000 per child. School districts are required to provide such services until the child is 21.
Mario D'Angelo, co-counsel for plaintiffs, says, "Taxpayers and local school districts should not have to bear the burden of providing services for those injured by GSK's negligence. We are investigating what legal remedies our clients' local school districts may have to recover these costs from GSK."
The cases are pending in Superior Court of the State of Delaware.
Bailey Peavy Bailey Cowan Heckaman, PLLC is a team of national trial lawyers based in Houston. With decades of legal experience, its attorneys concentrate their practice on four major areas: mesothelioma litigation, serious injuries, drug and medical device injuries, and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations. BPB was founded three decades ago by Ken Bailey, one of the attorneys responsible for the then-largest multi-billion dollar settlement in U.S. history. For more information, visit http://www.bpblaw.com/ or call (888) 367-7160.
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SOURCE Bailey Peavy Bailey Cowan Heckaman, PLLC