Louisiana lawsuit claims Abbott Laboratories' anti-epileptic drug, Depakote, caused birth defects

A lawsuit in Louisiana federal court alleges that Depakote (also called Depakote ER, Depakene and Depacon), an anti-epileptic drug produced by Abbot Laboratories, Inc., causes "irreversible and catastrophic injuries" to developing embryos during the first trimester of pregnancy.  The plaintiffs, parents of minor Timothy Gabriel Thompson, allege that his mother was prescribed with, and took, Depakote during her pregnancy.  As a result, the boy was born with congenital heart disease, a ventricular septal defect, various neurological problems, mental developmental delays, genitourinary malformations and club feet.  According to the lawsuit, the drug's primary compound, valproic acid, is known to cause birth defects.  The plaintiffs allege that Abbott minimizes the risk, downplays the dangers, and conceals and misleads doctors who prescribe the drug.  The plaintiffs, represented by Pedro F. Galeas and Scott LaBarre, also allege that Abbott fails to warn that women taking Depakote should not become pregnant.  For further information, see Timothy M. Thompson, Jr., et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., 2:11-CV-00541.