“We believe that there are potentially hundreds of victims still alive whose mothers were given thalidomide while pregnant,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and one of the attorneys for the alleged victims.
According to Berman, researchers initially concluded that thalidomide causes bilateral birth defects, such as two missing or shortened arms or hearing loss in both ears. As a result, babies born with unilateral defects, such as one deformed limb or hearing loss in only one ear, were not deemed thalidomide victims, even when their mothers were given the drug while pregnant.
The lawsuit claims new research involving thalidomide as part of a treatment regimen in cancer patients casts doubt on the theory that the drug can only cause bilateral defects.
“These thalidomiders had every reason to believe that they were simply born with severe birth defects, but new medical evidence and uncovered documents shed light on thalidomide’s role in their injuries,” said Berman.The complaint claims that the defendants are either guilty of or liable for a civil conspiracy, failing to report and covering up evidence that thalidomide was harmful, especially when taken during the early stages of pregnancy. The lawsuit also says that the defendants were negligent in continuing to manufacture, test and distribute the drug. Hagens Berman is seeking punitive damages against the defendants on behalf of the plaintiffs, as well as compensation due to economic losses and emotional distress from physical defects. The firm is also continuing to research the case. Those with additional information or who believe they might have suffered as a result of in utero thalidomide exposure are encouraged to call Hagens Berman at (206) 623-7292 or email the firm at Thalidomide@hbsslaw.com. More information about the case can be found at www.hbsslaw.com/thalidomide. About Hagens Berman Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (HBSS) represents consumers, whistleblowers, investors, workers and others in complex and class-action litigation. The firm has offices in ten cities and has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List six times. Founded in 1993, HBSS continues to successfully fight for consumer rights in large, complex litigation against large corporations recovering numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Visit the firm’s class-action law blog at www.classactionlawtoday.com.