The Irvine-based company Allergan is being sued by a Missouri resident who claims that his use of Botox caused his devastating illness.
Thomas McGee of Missouri seeks $60.5 million after he received injections for back pain that he claims caused his Guillain-Barre Syndrome. A jury in Orange County was faced with the difficult task of deciding whether Allergan was at fault for causing his disease.
The total settlement amount is confidential, but the attorney in this case, Ray Chester, has a reputation for winning millions of dollars in other Botox trials.
“All I can really say is the clients are happy,” Chester said of McGee and his wife regarding the amount.
The case finally settled on May 14, and it was unnecessary for them to go to a second trial which was scheduled for June 4.
McGee can no longer walk without the assistance of crutches and is unable to work, said Chester in his closing arguments during the month long trial.
The jury was asked to award $13 million in damages and $47.5 million in punitive damages. Chester also said that Allergan should have warned McGee that the use of Botox could lead to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an autoimmune disease.
Vaughn Crawford, the attorney for Allergan, said that in 2008, the same year that McGee received his injections; Allergan was still running tests to determine which, if any, diseases could be caused by the Botox. There were already labels on the Botox saying that there were potential risks involved with the injections, even severe risks like death.
Heather Katt, a spokeswoman for Allegran, released a statement regarding the jury’s decision: : “From Allergan’s perspective, the trial relates to an unfortunate situation, and we deeply sympathize with Mr. McGee’s condition and the distress it has caused both him and Mrs. McGee. However, the jury’s inability to reach a verdict aligns with the evidence that BOTOX® played no role in the symptoms suffered by Mr. McGee.”
In March 2010, a jury in Santa Ana decided that Botox injections were not responsible for the death of 7-year-old cerebral palsy Kristen Spears.
Just a few months later in May, Allergan was required to $15 million to Dr. Sharla Helton, 47, who proved that the Botox left her in pain and unable to work.
Several other suits were also settled in Orange County over the past few years, including a payout of $212 million to a 67-year-old man from Virginia who received an off-brand Botox injection that left him brain-damaged and bed-ridden.
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