Jury Awards $3M to Family of 5-Year-Old With Topamax-Related Birth Defects


A Pennsylvania jury awarded $3 million to the family of a 5-year-old born with cleft palate and lip as a result of the mother taking Topomax during pregnancy. The jury ruled that Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, failed to warn of the risk of birth defects associated with the drug. “On behalf of the Anderson family and their child,” said a lawyer for the family, “we are proud to have held Janssen Pharmaceuticals responsible for its decision to sell Topamax without adequately warning families of the serious risks present during pregnancy.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].