Jury awards $212M in Botox injury case

A Virginia jury has ruled against Allergan in a liability case over the muscle relaxant Botox. Better known as a wrinkle treatment, the drug left a 67-year-old man with permanent brain damage, the jury decided. It awarded the now-disabled man $212 million.

Douglas M. Ray had accused Allergan of failing to warn that Botox injections--which he received to treat hand cramps and tremors--could set off an autoimmune reaction that, in turn, could lead to brain damage. The Richmond, VA, jury awarded him $12 million in actual damages, plus $200 million in punitive damages. That $200 million will be capped at $350,000 under Virginia law, a company spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

Allergan says it didn't fail to warn of Botox's potential side effects, and it disputes a link between Ray's condition and the Botox injections. "The verdict reached today is inconsistent with Allergan's past and current actions to properly warn physicians and patients about the potential risks of Botox," Allergan spokeswoman Caroline Van Hove told Bloomberg. "Every known and knowable risk associated with Botox treatment based on the scientific properties of the drug was in fact warned about."

The company says it hasn't decided whether to appeal the verdict. Ray told Bloomberg that he has contingency plans in place if Allergan does take the case to a higher court: "If they appeal, we'll dispute the constitutionality of the [damages] cap," he told the news service.

- read the news from Bloomberg