Forbes, Abbott, Depakote & Birth Defect

Forbes, Abbott, Depakote & Birth Defect:  A recent case in the United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division ruled on a protective order.

The Forbes, Abbott, Depakote & Birth Defect case documents what the children of many women that took Depakote for a health concern (e.g. migraine headache, anti-epilepsy drug), during pregnancy may face today – a potential birth defect (e.g., spina bifida, VSD,…). The court issued the order.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  • BF was born with birth defect that the Plaintiff attributes to the mother’s use of Abbott’s anti-epilepsy drug (AED) Depakote while pregnant with BF.

To find out more on the case, see Case No. 4:12-CV-1760 CAS – January 30, 2014.


APRIL 22, 2013

  1. In this products liability action, plaintiffs Thomas and Beth Forbes (“plaintiffs”) individually and as Next Friends of their child B.F. assert claims against Abbott arising out of injuries resulting from B.F.’s exposure in utero to the medicine Depakote.
  2. Beth Forbes began taking Depakote two years before B.F.’s birth to treat mild depression. Plaintiffs allege B.F. sustained serious and permanent injuries and damages as a result of his mother’s ingestion of Depakote during pregnancy, specifically that B.F. was diagnosed with spina bifida. 
  3. Plaintiffs’ seventh cause of action is for fraud. Abbott moves to dismiss plaintiffs’ fraud related claim under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to comport with Rule 9(b), which imposes the heightened pleading requirement that the facts underlying the alleged fraudulent act be stated with particularity. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b).


Potentialy, the most problematic aspect of Depakote use is when it is used by women during pregnancy.  Unfortunately, it appears that Depakote – when used during pregancy – may be linked to babies being born with some serious birth defects.

Supposedly, the Food and Drug Administration has even reclassified Depakote and released warnings (label changes) regarding the link between Depakote and birth injuries, which may include:  

  • Abnormal Digits
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Brain defects
  • Cardiovascular system problems
  • Cleft hands or feet
  • Cleft palate
  • Club Foot
  • Club hands or fingers
  • Congential hip dislocation
  • Craniostenosis
  • Facial dysmorphism
  • Hydranencephaly
  • Hypospadias
  • Polydactyly
  • Scoliosis
  • Skull malformations
  • Spina Bifida 
  • Syndactyly
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Ventricular septal Defect

For more on Depakote and Birth Defects, please visit this link – Depakote & Birth Defects.




At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.

If you took Depakote and your child has suffered any potentially serious health problems, side effects or birth defects, please consider speaking with a Depakote lawsuit attorney.  Our Depakote lawyers can help you determine the best course of action as these health concerns your child is experiencing may be related to the use of Depakote during pregnancy.  

To talk to a depakote lawyer about a depakote birth defects lawsuit, please contact our office at 1.844.329.5955.