Baum Hedlund Files Lawsuit Against Paxil-Maker on Behalf of Child Born with Severe Heart Defects — (Pharma Live)

SSRI Ed note: Baby born with heart defect after mother takes Paxil during pregnancy.
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Pharma Live

July 28, 2006

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul 28, 2006 – Baum Hedlund filed a lawsuit today against Philadelphia-based GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”), the maker of Paxil, in Pennsylvania State Court, on behalf of its clients Anthony and Matilda Vasquez of Bedford, Texas, and their son Adrian. The family alleges that Mrs. Vasquez’s ingestion of Paxil during her pregnancy resulted in her son being born with severe heart defects. The Vasquez family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages against GSK for failing to warn about the risks associated with Paxil for pregnant women and their unborn children.
Two-year-old Adrian has undergone three open-heart surgeries and now has a pacemaker. His mother took the antidepressant Paxil throughout her entire pregnancy.
According to Baum Hedlund attorney Karen Barth Menzies, who represents the family: “Adrian Vasquez is a tough little boy. The trauma he has endured in his brief two years of life is much more than most of us will ever have to suffer in our entire lifetime. The seriousness of these birth defects are such that, at the very first sign of danger, GSK should have issued a strong warning. Over 1 percent–or 40,000–pregnant women in the US are taking antidepressants. Given the popularity of Paxil, thousands of babies are at risk.”
During the last month of her pregnancy, Mrs. Vasquez learned, while receiving an ultrasound to determine the sex of her baby, that there was something very wrong with her baby’s heart.
During the first year of his life, Adrian underwent three open-heart surgeries (at eight days, five months and 10 months) due to his heart defects.
Adrian is now two years old and, while he is behind in his verbal and motor skills, his health has improved. Adrian will, however, need repeated heart surgeries as he continues to grow and may need artificial replacement valves, and perhaps eventually a heart transplant. His prognosis is unclear.
The Vasquez family is represented by Baum Hedlund, a national pharmaceutical products liability law firm in L.A., D.C. and Philadelphia.
The FDA has issued three Public Health Advisories since December 2005 concerning the risk of congenital heart defects and has changed Paxil’s pregnancy category from C to D, which indicates that “(t)here is positive evidence of fetal risk.”
Contact Baum Hedlund Robin McCall, 310-207-3233