Oklahoma City drug injury: Botox maker negligent, jury awards doctor $15M

05/17/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Oklahoma City, OK—A Oklahoma City doctor who suffered botulism poisoning after receiving an anti-wrinkle drug treatment, was awarded $15 million by an Oklahoma County jury. The jury found that Allergan Inc., the maker of Botox Cosmetic, was negligent on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, as reported by NewsOk.com.

Jurors decided on a 10-2 vote to award Dr. Sharla Helton $15 million in actual damages. Helton was got awarded punitive damages.

According to the lawsuit, Helton suffered severe side effects from the Botox, after receiving 50 injections on July 14, 2006. It was Helton’s fifth treatment to help combat wrinkles. Due to her extreme pain and weakness, she eventually sold her medical practice and even resigned as Lakesides Women’s Hospital’s medical director.

During the three-week trial, a main concern was whether Allergan gave sufficient warning in the Botox product labeling, addressing the possible complications from using Botox Cosmetic. The product labeling in 2006 did not include a warning about botulism.

Allergan plans to appeal the verdict. The cosmetic drug maker claims Botox does not cause botulism. Attorneys’ representing the drug maker contends that Helton never had botulism; a friend, not an expert, made the diagnosis.

An Allergan spokesperson stated, “The negligence verdict…is inconsistent with all credible scientific and medical evidence. Botox does not cause botulism.”

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Oklahoma drug-related injury attorneys.

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