Glaxo to Pay $1 Billion to Children with Birth Defects from Mothers who took Paxil | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

By Catherine Bertram

Bloomberg News reported that GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. has agreed to pay $1 billion to injured consumers to resolve more than 800 cases involving the antidepressant Paxil. The medication has been in use in the U.S. since 1992. Paxil generated about $793 million in sales in 2009 alone which was about 1.8 percent of Glaxo’s total revenue. Glaxo reported U.S. sales exceeding $11 billion since 1997.

Not all of the pending birth defect cases are resolved, according to the report, about 100 Paxil claims are not included in this settlement. Glaxo confirmed that it settled some Paxil cases citing the reason as avoiding costs and uncertainties of litigation, but would not comment on the terms of the settlement. A Philadelphia jury awarded a 3 year old boy $2.5 million finding that Paxil caused severe heart defects in a trial in October of last year.

About the author:

Catherine Bertram is board certified in civil trials and was recently nominated as a 2010 Super Lawyer for Washington, D.C. Ms. Bertram has 20 years of trial experience and is unique in that she was formerly the Director of Risk Management for Georgetown University Hospital. Ms. Bertram is a member of the bar for the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a partner with the firm and lectures regularly to lawyers and health care providers, nationally and locally, regarding patient safety, medical negligence and other related issues. She has also recently published a chapter in a surgical textbook. She can be reached by email at or by phone 202-822-1875 in her office in Washington, D.C.