Botox Lawsuit Lawyers
The makers of Botox claim it is safe to inject in humans, but Botox has some problems. Allergan, the maker of Botox, has lost several multi-million-dollar verdicts attempting to defend its toxic drug after Botox-injured people have been paralyzed or been given a dangerous dose of botulism by injections of Botox. Several other Botox lawsuits have been settled out of court for undisclosed sums.
In February 2008, FDA issued a warning about the risks associated with use of Botox to treat cerebral palsy, after the agency received several adverse event reports of sudden death, breathing problem, other potentially life-threatening injuries. A “black box” warning was added to Botox in August 2009, concerning risk of botulism-like side effects, such as swallowing and breathing difficulties that can occur if the injection spreads to other areas of the body.
$15 Million Verdict for Botox Victim
In May 2010, a jury awarded an Oklahoma City doctor $15 million after she contracted botulism from a Botox injection. A successful Ob/Gyn and co-founder of a women’s specialty hospital in Oklahoma, Dr. Sharla Helton contracted botulism after taking Botox Cosmetic injections in 2006. Allergan appealed the verdict, but in September 2014 the Oklahoma Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict in Dr. Helton’s favor. On Monday, May 5, 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously denied Allergan’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, thereby ending the appeal. Post-judgment interest accruing during the protracted appeal means that Allergan now owes Helton more than $18 million.
$6.75 Million Verdict for Botoxed Child
In Nov. 2014, a New York family won another Botox lawsuit against the makers of Botox. The family sued Botox maker Allergan after a pediatric Botox injection caused life-altering damage to the family’s young son. Lori and Kevin Drake, along with their 7-year-old son Joshua Drake, were awarded $6.75 million in both compensatory and punitive damages. The trial lasted nearly three weeks in Burlington, New York’s U.S. District Court.
The Drakes’ son, a victim of cerebral palsy, had been suffering leg spasms, for which, in 2010, a Burlington doctor recommended the family inject Botox as a treatment. In an interview with the Burlington Free Press prior to trial, Kevin and Lori Drake argued that Allergan failed to properly warn them of Botox’ potential dangers.
The first dose of Botox failed to work, so the Drake’s doctor administered a second, larger dose a few years later, according to court papers. The boy then suffered a severe allergic reaction, which included facial swelling, slurred speech, respiratory difficulties, vomiting and seizures. He was rushed to the emergency room at Fletcher Allen Health Care, and was never the same thereafter. Lori Drake said that since the Botox treatment, Joshua suffers seizures and must be accompanied and monitored by a specially trained aide at all times for instant treatment.
What is Botox?
Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This is the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. Some doctors use it in smaller doses to treat everything from real health problems to cosmetic complaints. Here are a few uses:
- Facial wrinkles, for smoothing and (subjectively) improving one’s appearance
- Severe underarm sweating
- Cervical dystonia – a neurological disorder causing severe neck, shoulder contractions
- Blepharospasm – uncontrollable blinking
- Strabismus – misaligned eyes
- Chronic migraines
- Overactive bladder
Botox paralyzes Muscles, Nerves
Botox injections work by paralyzing or weakening certain muscles, or blocking certain nerves. Effects last some three to twelve months, depending on the treatment. Some common side effects include pain, swelling, bruising at the injection site, or flu-like symptoms, headache, stomach upset. Facial injections may trigger (temporary, hopefully) drooping eyelids. Botox is contraindicated for women pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you or someone you love was injured by Botox, contact an experienced Botox Attorney at Matthews & Associates for a free legal consultation regarding a potential Botox Lawsuit.
Botox Lawsuits Overview
In 2008 a suit was filed for 15 plaintiffs in the Superior Court of California alleging severe and fatal injuries were caused by Botox treatments. The injections were administered for various purposes, including during cosmetic medical procedures, as well as “off-label” to treat cerebral palsy and other medical conditions. The lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of Allergan in the design, manufacture and marketing of the drug, which has been linked to serious and potentially fatal reactions. The lawsuit also claims Allergan promoted Botox for uses not approved by the FDA, which violates federal regulations.
• In March of 2010 the first Botox lawsuit to go to trial ended with a defense verdict. The case involved the death of a 7 year-old girl with cerebral palsy who received Botox injections to alleviate muscle problems associated with her disability. The case was tried in Orange County.
• Also in 2010, a $15 million verdict for a doctor plaintiff who suffered botulism poisoning. The case involved injections/injury which occurred in 2006.
• In 2010, Allergan agreed to pay $600 million after pleading guilty to charges brought by the Department of Justice that it promoted Botox illegally for the treatment of cerebral palsy spasticity.
• On April 28, 2011, a Virginia jury awarded $212 Million to a 67 yr. old plaintiff alleging permanent brain damage after being injected with Botox to treat cramps and tremors. The injections/injury took place in 2007.
• In 2014, a 6.75 million verdict was returned in a New York District court for a child plaintiff (see above) who received Botox injections to help with preexisting leg spasms/cerebral palsy. Injury/injections occurred in 2012.
Botox Case Analysis
Most of the verdicts with adult plaintiffs involved use/injury prior to the black box and DOJ settlement. If a person used Botox for an approved use after 2009 and developed “botulism-like” side effects (Double Vision, Blurred Vision, Drooping Eyelids, Slurred Speech, Difficulty Swallowing, Dry Mouth, Muscle Weakness), that may be a tough case to make due to the black box warning. The black box warning for Botox came in 2009.
The $6.75 million award involved off label use in 2012 and alleged that Allergen failed to warn of known risks to children. Causes of Action in this case included (I) strict liability/failure to warn/breach of implied warranties; (II) negligence; (III) strict liability/design defect/breach of implied warranties; and (IV) a cause of action under the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act.
Allergan acquired by Actavis
In March 2015, Allergan was acquired by Actavis.