Barry J. Nace’s $95 Million Verdict in a Defective Drug Lawsuit Against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals

Attorney Barry J. Nace prevailed and won a $95 million verdict on behalf of a boy born deformed due to a defective drug

In 1987, attorney Barry J. Nace brought a lawsuit against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., to recover compensation on behalf of a boy who was born with deformed hands. The injury was caused by Bendectin, a morning-sickness drug his mother had taken when she was pregnant with him.

Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., had voluntarily stopped the production of Bendectin in 1983 ahead of a group of lawsuits alleging that the drug was causing deformities. One jury found that the drug caused the birth injuries of one child and returned a verdict of $20 million in compensation for the boy’s permanent deformities, and $75 million in punitive damages.

The fight for justice against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals

Th trial lasted for five weeks and it was conducted in two stages: the first would address the issue of causation, or whether the plaintiff could prove that Bendectin had caused the child’s deformities, and the second stage would decide if Merrell had engaged in wrongful conduct which led to Mrs. Ealy’s use of the drug.

Mr. Nace had Sekou Ealy stand in front of the jurors. He turned to the jury and said, “I want you to take a look at his arms.”  Then, according to an article in the Washington Post, the boy said that he was unable to raise his arms or straighten his arms. The Post article said that Sekou’s second grade classmates made fun of his hands.

Nace contended that Merrell Dow knew about the dangers associated with taking any drug in pregnancy, yet they did not take the necessary steps to prove that Bendectin was safe, and they ignored signs to the contrary. In the Post article, Nace was quoted, ”They didn’t have anything that said the drug was safe. All they had was (the position that) you can’t prove the drug is not safe.”

Holding negligent parties accountable for their defective and dangerous drugs

Paulson & Nace, PLLC has always been on the forefront of drug liability cases in Washington, DC. Barry Nace argued and won the first Bendectin case in 1985, and in the three decades since then, has since gone on to litigate landmark drug liability cases including one that went to the Supreme Court. If your case might benefit from the services of one of the premier dangerous drug law firms in the District of Columbia, you are welcome to work with us.

Dedicated and experienced drug liability attorneys

When you or your doctor suspects that a dangerous drug has caused injury or death, your first step is to speak to an experienced Washington, DC drug liability lawyer who will protect your right to compensation. You are welcome to contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC, by calling 202-930-0292 or filling out our contact form. We represent families throughout Washington, DC, West Virginia and the surrounding areas.