Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuit Ousted to Minnesota

A federal judge ruled that Julie Geddeck, a mother who claims that taking the antidepressant drug Paxil resulted in her unborn daughter developing a critical neural tube defect that required major surgery, must fight the Pharmaceutical conglomerate GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Minnesota

Guddeck, a resident of Minnesota sued GSK in Philadelphia County’s Court of Common Pleas back in September 2011.  Guddeck’s claim was that during her pregnancy she took the antidepressant Paxil which gave her then unborn daughter, Kaylea Geddeck, the critical neural tube defect. Kaylea has since required major surgeries and continuous treatment for the defect.

Guddeck’s suit is claiming negligence, breach of warranty, and strict liability on GSK’s part. Her suit was taken from the federal courts and consolidated with other Paxil lawsuits against the Pennsylvania company.  Many plaintiffs moved to remand and in December 2011 an U.S. district judge granted the motions based on the grounds that GSK was “Pennsylvania citizen and that removal by an in-state defendant was improper,” however, it was later discovered that GSK was a citizen of Delaware and the removal was proper. Guddecks suit was removed again to Federal Court.

After the family was refused to remand the suit to state court, GSK moved to have the case transferred to Minnesota, which was approved on the grounds that the public and private factors were overwhelmingly in favor of a transfer.

It makes sense for the case to proceed in Minnesota, since Guddeck is a MN resident, GSK failed to warn her in MN, guddeck became pregnant there, was prescribed the drug there, took the antidepressant there and gave birth to her daughter there. Kaylea’s treatment has all been in MN and she continues to receive treatment there.

Paxil was first approved in 1992 but quickly faced suits in NY for withholding safety data about the drug. In 2005 the FDA issued an alert to health care professionals warning that individuals who took Paxil were at an increased risk of birth defects. Paxil is extremely risky for women in their first three months of their pregnancy.


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