What is Depakote?
Depakote is a prescription drug manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. In 1983, it was approved for use in the United States. This medication is used to treat seizure disorders, migraine headaches, and the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. However, there have been reports of side effects of this medication from individuals using the drug, which has caused lawsuits all over the country.
What are some of the side effects of Depakote?
Just as with any other drug, Depakote has side effects. Following are some of the minor side effects caused by this medication: nausea, drowsiness, weakness, tremors, headache, vomiting, and dizziness.
There are also some major side effects caused by Depakote. Some of the major side effects include the following: depression, worsening seizures, liver damage, hypothermia, pancreatitis, bleeding, bruising, and suicidal thoughts.
As mentioned, Depakote can also cause birth defects including neural tube birth injury, malformation of the cardiovascular system, spina bifida, and malformation of the face or skull. In fact, in May 2013, the FDA released a statement which stated that the risks outweighed the benefits of prescribing Depakote to treat migraine headaches in pregnant women and changed the warning from “D” to “X.”
What are the two types of lawsuits?
If you have experienced any of the above side effects, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit. Regarding lawsuits involving prescription medications, history has shown that you can proceed either through an individual lawsuit or a class action lawsuit. Following are some advantages and disadvantages of both individual and class action lawsuits.
What is an individual lawsuit?
An individual lawsuit is one that is filed by a consumer who has been prescribed and taken a medication that has caused serious side effects that resulted in harm. When compared to class action lawsuits, there are some advantages and disadvantages to think about when considering an individual lawsuit.
What are the advantages of filing an individual lawsuit?
There are quite a few potential advantages of individually filing a pharmaceutical drug lawsuit. First of all, there is the fact that you are a single plaintiff and therefore, if a verdict is rendered in your favor or if a settlement is reached, it is you and you only that will receive the damages awarded or agreed upon- minus the attorney fees.
Additionally, you will be able to present evidence to the court that only pertains to the damages you suffered. This means that the attorney will be able to personalize the situation, which can have a positive impact on the jury. This is very important if the lawsuit involves the side effects including causing severe birth defects suffered by a child of a mother who was taking Depakote while pregnant.
What are some disadvantages of filing an individual lawsuit?
On the other hand, you should also be aware that filing an individual pharmaceutical drug lawsuit brings with it some disadvantages. One of these is the fact that all of the attorney fees will have to be paid by you out of your award or settlement. This means that you’ll potentially walk away with less money.
Additionally, since you and your attorney are only responsible for presenting the facts related specifically to your case, the defense could be better able to successfully claim that the harm was not due to their drug but something else you were doing or taking.
What is a class action lawsuit?
Just as with individual pharmaceutical drug lawsuits, there are also some advantages and disadvantages to proceeding with a class action pharmaceutical drug lawsuit. Class action lawsuits involve combining several individual claims by individuals who have suffered harm due to specific side effects associated with a medication. Following is an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding with a class action lawsuit.
What are some advantages of filing a class action lawsuit?
One of the biggest advantages of pursuing a class action lawsuit dealing with defective pharmaceutical drugs is the fact that the jury will be able to see exactly how widespread damages can be when a drug with dangerous side effects is given to patients. This is especially true with the Depakote lawsuit, where side effects include severe birth defects suffered by children whose mother’s took the medication while pregnant.
The fact that the damages are widespread among several people make it much harder for the defense to claim that the damages were caused by something other than their medication. It’s almost impossible to convince a jury that a specific drug did not cause hundreds of injuries as opposed to causing just one.
Additionally, a class action lawsuit makes it much more likely for the company to be willing to settle out of court. The defense attorneys for the company understand that it will be difficult to persuade the jury based on what they will see and hear and the fact that damages awarded in court can be much higher than they would be by settling out of court.
Finally, a class action lawsuit means that you will share the attorney costs with other people as opposed to shouldering it on your own like you would with an individual pharmaceutical drug lawsuit.
What are some disadvantages of filing a class action lawsuit?
Since you will be in the lawsuit with several other people, you will have to share the award or settlement- there could be hundreds or more other people in the lawsuit with you. This means that your share could be much lower than if you were in an individual lawsuit.
Additionally, due to the fact that class action lawsuits tend to be so large, the evidence that is presented to the jury will be very general, meaning that the jury may not always hear or see all of the harm that has been caused by a specific medication.
Finally, class action lawsuits bring about problems when it comes to having your specific personal concerns or even your general input heard by the attorneys. They must make decisions based on the class as a whole instead of on the individuals.
You should take some time to review the advantages and disadvantages of both types of cases and choose the one that best fits your situation. You might want to speak with an attorney to get some better perspective on which one would be best for you.
How do you know if you really have a case?
If you are currently taking or have taken Depakote in the past and you and/or your child has suffered any of the side effects mentioned earlier, you should definitely consider speaking with an attorney as soon as possible. You could definitely have legal grounds to pursue a lawsuit for your damages and injuries. An experienced Depakote lawsuit attorney will be able to review your case and let you know what your options are. To speak to an expert directly, call the toll-free number 844-446-5129. You could also contact us through the contact box.
Are there statues of limitations with Depakote lawsuits?
You should be aware that there are statutes of limitations in cases such as this- which means that your case does have an expiration date. These statues of limitations vary from state to state- ask your attorney what it is in your state.
Birth defects or other severe side effects can cause a burden on both you and your loved ones. However, you should know that you don’t have to deal with this alone. Contact an attorney today to find out what your rights are regarding your Depakote lawsuit.