A jury has awarded a total of $212 million in damages to a man who claims that he was left with a permanent brain injury as a result of using Botox injections. The lawsuit is a massive verdict against Allergan, the maker of Botox.
The 67-year-old man had started receiving Botox injections in order to treat writer’s cramp and hand tremors. He soon developed an autoimmune reaction to the drug, which left him with a massive brain injury. Since the brain damage, the man can no longer perform any routine activities or take care of himself. He’s totally dependent on help from caregivers. He filed a lawsuit against Allergan, claiming that the company was aware of the side effects of Botox injections, but failed to warn patients.
The $212 million verdict delivered by a jury in Virginia includes $12 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. Virginia has a cap on punitive damages at $350,000, but a verdict like this is bound to encourage other patients who have suffered injuries from Botox to come forward with their claims.
This isn’t the first time Allergan has come up against claims that Botox causes serious side effects and injuries. The company is facing allegations that the wrinkle smoothing injection caused people serious side effects when the toxin migrated from the injection site. It doesn’t look so good for Allergan when you consider that in 2007, the company warned doctors in the European Union that there was a risk that the toxin could migrate from the injection site. However, American doctors only received a similar warning in 2009.
Last year, the company also paid $600 million to settle a federal probe into charges of marketing of Botox for off-label uses. The company had approved the marketing of Botox as a treatment for pain and spasticity, especially in children with cerebral palsy, but none of these uses were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Under federal laws, doctors can use drugs for uses that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, companies cannot promote the use of these drugs for unapproved purposes.
As Indiana product liability attorneys, we will also be closely watching the results of two other lawsuits making similar claims against Allergan.