ST. LOUIS, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, November 08, 2016, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, upheld Houston-based trial firm Williams Kherkher's $38 million dollar verdict against Abbott Labs for failing to provide accurate information to doctors regarding the use of the anti-epilepsy drug Depakote.
According to the court opinion: "The evidence and testimony set forth at trial exposed to the jury [Abbott's] knowledge of the current data about Depakote, and the numbers in the form of profits [Abbott] reaped by willfully omitting the extent of the drug's dangers from its warning to doctors to protect its profits. The jury could clearly deduce from this evidence that explicit, accurate, and up-to-date warnings were sacrificed in the name of profits at [Abbott], and further, [Abbott] intentionally deceived and distorted the truth about Depakote to doctors depriving them of the ability to have all the necessary information to make a considered medical decision as to whether to prescribe the drug."
Additionally, the opinion states: "The jury heard evidence [Abbott's] focus on profit motivated it to conceal the serious hazards presented by Depakote to women of childbearing potential. [Abbott] spent $50-100 million per year marketing Depakote, yet spent no money on conducting independent safety research. Senior executives wanted market share to increase versus its competitors and thus endorsed and compelled the sales and marketing strategy of promoting Depakote's first-line use in women even though it was known to be a dirty drug whose use should be the last resort among AEDs in childbearing women."
The 38 million dollar verdict upheld by the appellate court included 23 million dollars in punitive damages. In affirming the jury's punitive damages award, the appellate court found that rather than acting in the best interests of its customers, the company showed a blatant disregard for public health and unethically worked to increase its profits at the expense of women who needed help coping with various conditions and their unborn children.
About Williams Kherkher
Williams Kherkher is a nationally recognized trial law firm, representing clients across the country in mass torts, personal injury and commercial litigation. Williams Kherkher welcomes the opportunity to work with other law firms in joint ventures.
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SOURCE Williams Kherkher