Lawsuit blames Reglan for causing son’s birth defects

Lindsey C. Whitener was seven weeks pregnant with her second child when her physician prescribed Reglan (metoclopramide) to ease her nausea and vomiting from morning sickness. She took it for four weeks. A few months later, Whitener began having problems with her pregnancy and gave birth to her son prematurely at 36 weeks gestation. Her son, Lucas, was born with extensive physical disabilities and medical problems and spent the first six months of his life in the hospital. Doctors said they did not know the cause of Lucas’ birth defects.

Nearly a year later, Whitener saw a television commercial about the adverse events linked to the heartburn drug Reglan. The medication had recently been hit with a black box warning after numerous reports of consumers who took Reglan and developed a serious involuntary movement disorder known as Tardive Dyskinesia. Whitener also learned that the drug was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use during pregnancy, though some studies suggested it was a safe treatment for morning sickness. Whitener spoke with various health care professionals and none could rule out the possibility of Reglan causing or contributing to her son’s birth defects.

Whitener and Lucas’ father Joshua A. Whitener, Sr., both individually and on behalf of Lucas, have filed a lawsuit against Pliva Inc., Pliva USA, Pliva Pharmaceuticals Inc., Barr Laboratories, Barr Pharmaceuticals, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Rue De Sante Women’s Center, and John McCrossen. The Whiteners are seeking damages for pain and suffering, permanent disabilities, fear, mental anguish, loss of love and affection, loss of companionship, grief and mental anguish, loss of society and consortium, loss of personal service, loss of support, medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial loss/detriment.