In one of the biggest Botox-related litigation awards yet, a U.S. District Court jury awarded a Virginia man $212 million late last month. The award represents $12 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages for the plaintiff. The 67-year-old plaintiff filed the lawsuit against Allergan, Inc., the maker of Botox, alleging that the drug left him disabled and brain damaged.
In 2007, the plaintiff received a Botox injection for a hand tremor and writer’s cramp. As a result, he suffered severe medical complications, full disability and incurred $643,800 in expenses. The plaintiff now requires around-the-clock care, according to his wife.
Allergan, Inc., manufacturers Botox Cosmetic for wrinkle treatment and Botox for treating blepharospasm (spasm of the eyelids), cervical dystonia (severe neck spasms) and primary axillary hyperhydrosis (excess sweating). In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that Botox use a black box label to warn of the risk of adverse events.
The jury award is not the first setback for Allergan, Inc. The company previously reached a $600 million settlement with the Justice Department in connection with allegations made by two whistleblowers that it illegally marketed Botox for off-label uses. Allergan, Inc. reportedly paid doctors to lobby healthcare payers to cover off-label uses of Botox.
Prior to the settlement with the Justice Department, an Oklahoma jury awarded a Botox patient $15 million in her personal injury suit against Allergan, Inc.