Botox Brain Damage Lawsuit Results in $212 Million Verdict


May 24, 2011

Last month, Douglas Ray, a 67 year-old man, won in court against Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc. when the federal court jury awarded a verdict of $212 million in his favor.

The award was split into $12 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages, which constitutes the largest monetary damages ever awarded in a Botox injury case.

Ray received Botox injections in 2007 to treat hand tremors and writer's cramp. This use of Botox for treating such symptoms is considered an off-label use. He fell ill shortly after receiving treatments suffering brain damage and now requires around the clock care. The lawsuit brought by Ray alleged that Allergan Inc. failed to provide warning about the risk of brain damage by the use of Botox, which triggered an autoimmune reaction.

Botox and Its Uses

Botox is often used as a miracle injection for women who want to manage the wrinkles on their face. The injection freezes the muscles in the face and prevents expressions that typically cause wrinkles or that deepen existing ones. Botox is approved to treat medical conditions such as strabismus (crossed eyes), hyperhidrosis (excess sweating), cervical dystonia (involuntary contractions of the neck muscles), and blepharospasms (involuntary blinking of the eye).

Botox has also been used by doctors to treat various maladies such as chronic migraine headaches, cramping in the lower limbs, and loss of muscle function or tone in the upper limbs. The FDA has only approved the use of botox for limited cosmetic and medical purposes; however, the drug frequently is prescribed by doctors as an off-label use to treat serious medical conditions like cerebral palsy and chronic migraines.

The medication can be dangerous because it can spread from the area where it is injected to other parts of the body. The product contains small amounts of the bacteria that is associated with botulism poisoning. When this gets into other parts of the body it can create problems such as paralysis, difficulty swallowing, respiratory distress and other issues. Small children who have been injected with high doses to treat cerebral palsy are especially at risk.

Allergan promotes the drug all over the country for uses other than cosmetic purposes. In September of last year, the company had to pay the federal government $600 million to settle civil and criminal allegations that it illegally marketed and sold the drug through 2005 for unapproved uses, such as treating headaches.

Responsibility

The company claims that it has followed all federal guidelines and is looking at appealing the verdict. A company spokesperson is adamant that the company took all actions to properly warn physicians and patients about the potential risks of Botox.

Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn about possible side effects of a drug. Often a doctor or a pharmacist will be charged with the duty of passing those warnings on to the patient. If the drug manufacturer advertises its product directly to the general public, however, the manufacturer may still have a duty to warn the public directly about the risks of taking the drug. A person may be able to assert a claim for failure-to-warn against a manufacturer or a physician.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury or wrongful death resulting from the side effects of Botox or another drug, the experienced Atlanta dangerous drug attorneys at Montlick and Associates may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries or loss. Montlick and Associates represents clients injured by dangerous medical devices and defective drugs throughout Georgia.

If you have suffered serious side effects related to your use of Botox, contact Montlick and Associates for a case evaluation. We work hard for our clients to get them the compensation they deserve. Our Georgia Botox side effect injury attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.