Paxil used during pregnancy caused defects, woman claims in suit

Michelle Massey Aug. 9, 2010, 10:16am


A Louisiana woman is suing the manufacturer of the antidepressant drug Paxil after discovering it could be the cause of her child's birth defects.

Andrea and Brad Frischhertz, individually and on behalf of their minor child, filed suit against SmithKline Beecham Corp. doing business as GlaxoSmithKline July 1 in Jefferson Parish District Court.

GlaxoSmithKline removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on July 29.

Andrea Frischhertz was allegedly prescribed the drug to treat depression during her pregnancy in 2004-2005. She claims she questioned her doctor regarding the risks associated with taking the drug and was assured that Paxil was safe for use during pregnancy.

Frischertz says her child was born with an under-developed cardiac septum and irreversible birth defects. After Frischhertz saw a commercial advertising Paxil's risks in 2009, she associated her child's birth defects with the use of the depressant.

The drug manufacturer is accused of construction or composition defect, design defect, inadequate warning, breach of express warranty, negligence, strict liability-failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation and breach of implied warranty.

The Frischhertzes are seeking damages for actual damages including personal injury, medical expenses, economic loss, mental anguish, distress and anxiety, plus interest, costs, expenses and attorney fees.

They are represented by New Orleans attorneys Lawrence J. Centola III, Marc Frischhertz and Lloyd Frischhertz of Martz & Bickford.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02125

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