Allergan Inc., the maker of Botox, was ordered by a federal court jury last month to pay $212 million to a Virginia man who alleged that use of the drug left him severely disabled. The verdict awarded Douglas Ray $12 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. This is the largest penalty ever in a Botox injury case. Ray was injected with the drug in 2007 to treat hand tremors and quickly became ill with a fever and rash. He suffered brain damage and now requires round-the-clock care.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., alleged that Irvine-based Allergan failed to adequately warn Mr. Ray’s doctor about the potential risks of Botox for off-label use. Known primarily as a wrinkle-buster, doctors also have prescribed the drug for treating serious medical conditions such as cerebral palsy and chronic migraines. The use of Botox for both cosmetic and medical purposes is only approved for very narrow uses by the FDA.
It has been widely reported that Botox has been promoted to doctors all over the country by Allergan for uses other than wrinkles. In September, Allergan agreed 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. Ray Chester, a lawyer with McGinnis, Lochridge, & Kilgore, a firm located in Austin, Texas, represented the Plaintiffs. Ray has handled a number of Botox cases and has done a very good job.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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