Austin, TXAttorney Ray Chester has given Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, a few worry lines of its own. He recently obtained a $15 million verdict on behalf of an Oklahoma woman who suffered unintended consequences after receiving a Botox injection to eliminate wrinkles in her forehead. Chester has at least eight other suits pending against the company.
Botox was approved the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1989 for the cosmetic treatment of facial lines. It is made from bacterium Clostridium, best known as the bacteria that causes botulism. Lethal in large doses, it paralyzes nerve endings in small doses, causing muscles to relax. When it is injected into the forehead area, lines and furrows disappear temporarily.
"This is a toxin. It has been studied as a biological weapon and is actually the most lethal substance on the planet"
Ray Chester's client, 48-year-old Sharla Helton, a doctor, alleged that Botox injections caused her constant pain, blurred vision and difficulty breathing—all symptoms consistent with botulism. "Botox is lethal and the problem is you can't really tell where you are injecting it," says Chester. "If you hit a blood vessel or if the Botox spreads outside the muscle it can travel body wide and lead to botulism."
Unable to work, Helton had to sell her practice and quit her job as medical director at Oklahoma City hospital. "She was earning about $500,000 a year," says Chester. "It was a good-sized verdict, we could have asked for more, but we tried to be conservative about it."
Allergan, which earns about $1.3 billion a year from sales of its anti-wrinkle drug, calls the verdict "inconsistent with all credible and scientific medical evidence" and plans to appeal.
Untended consequences from Botox injections surfaced as far back as 2004. In February 2008, the FDA linked Botox to adverse reactions, including respiratory failure and death due to the toxin's ability spread through the body.
Immediately after the FDA reported the link between Botox and botulism, Dee Speers contacted Chester. Her seven-year-old daughter died after being injected with Botox to ease muscle spasms associated with cerebral palsy.
"She thought, 'Oh my God, that's what happened to my daughter,'" says Chester.
Chester sued Allergan on behalf of Speers and her daughter. He lost the case, but has continued to pursue other cases since.
"This is a toxin," says Chester. "It has been studied as a biological weapon and is actually the most lethal substance on the planet."
The FDA approval dose for Botox is 20 units, but Chester says Allergan encourages use over the approved limits by selling Botox in 50 unit vials, which can only be used once for hygienic reasons. "Over two thirds of their sales were off-label," says Chester. "And in the case of Dr. Helton, she was given 50 units in the upper part of her face."
Chester believes Allergan bears liability for Botox complications rather than people who actually do the injections. "The way I look at it is they sell it, they invented, they make incredible profits. They don't care who buys it or injects it—nurses, physician's assistants, spa and salon staff. We could fight it out one doctor at a time, or we could go to the source of the problem. We think we are going to the source of the problem."
In September, Chester is heading for court in Orange County, California where a healthy 70-year-old nurse died after being injected with Botox to ease neck pain. "She had 100 units of Botox injected into her neck and it immediately affected her ability to swallow. She lost 40 pounds in five months and had to have a feeding tube put and ultimately went down hill and died."
Ray Chester is an attorney with McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore in Austin Texas. He areas of practice include business litigation, personal injury, product liability, pharmaceutical litigation and other contingent fee matters. He has tried over 30 jury cases and achieved numerous multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements.
If you have suffered losses in this case, please send your complaint to a lawyer who will review your possible [Botox and Myobloc Lawsuit] at no cost or obligation.
Posted by Lise Latulippe
I recently tested positive for Botulism toxin, my test shows that I still have over the limit of Botox in my system. I wrote many time to try to get a lawyer but none would touch it! With this new information wonder if anyone will come forward!
In Canada right now I am presenting myself against three doctors that are trying to dismiss or through my case out but with this new information and testing positive for Botulism toxin I was granted seven weeks to get my case presented as to why it should go forward. Here is the link to the judge ruling and proof that I indeed tested positive for Botulism Neurotoxin!
Posted by Valerie Casey
I had heard an ad on t.v. about Dysport & was impressed for the reason that it was revealed as to being a new & safe product of the Botox family. I had always been turned off with what I saw about Botox & knowing that is is a poison. I've had fillers before & with good results. So Dysport sounded like a great new experience. I researched it a little & couldn't find any reason to be concerned that it had serious side effects. My desire was to just soften up my laugh lines [crows feet area] & to also achieve a little lift to my eyebrows.
I made an appointment with a doctor that was advertising Dysport & with a coupon for a Christmas special, since it being a new product. I had chosen the very minimum to simply just try it & to see if I liked it. The next day my eyes were swelling & began burning. I called the nurse & she said to just keep warm packs on my eyes. Within the next week plus, my eyes felt like a sandblaster had been taken to them. My vision was strained & blurry. I remember that I really started to panic & began to cry. However, my eyes wouldn't tear WHATSOEVER. I was terrified. Anyway, my story is really lengthy. I've lost myself in so many ways & having any hope in the justice system anymore. I'm not a perfect person, yet what I continue to go through as a result that topped it off, was when I had the Dysport injected near my Lachrymal eye lands. Resulting in permanent zero tear production, vision loss, sensitivity to light for a very long time, severe eye infections, eyes were forcibly closing, so I had to sleep. Or having to constantly add eye drops every few minutes. Then 8 months later in August 2010, I woke up with severe double pneumonia & was also diagnosed with emphysema. I had never in my life had pneumonia. Oddly, the doctor said that my lungs looked like someone had taken a sandblaster to them & had worked around asbestos. I thought it was kind of strange that he 'too had said sandblaster'. Here is more info that describes the 1st few years. I've been through hell & there is no excuse as to why Dysport was not made known to me of what 'side effects' that I might possibly experience. What really got to me was how it was made available for cosmetic purposes as a BLACK BOX WARNING on the bottled label. I believed in the doctors & what I read about it in 2009. I learned a lot about the poison, but it was too late for me to go back & cancel the appointment to have it done. I desperately was reaching out for answers & help. [when I could see] I was finding out about many terrible side effects. I had always been a health crier & to not be able to cry tears, was & is devastating. To sum it up with the sudden tear loss, eye infections, my lung disease, & like the domino effect, I only got worse as my eye glands grew until m right eye bled. I was diagnosed with Malt lymphoma in my lachrymal glands. Go figure. And before I was diagnosed with the cancer, I was seeking legal help. Yet, was told because of the statute of limitations that I could not be helped. But was told TO NOT GIVE UP. WELL, I DID GIVE UP SEVERAL TIMES. I began to believe or question if I even mattered. I'm so conscientious about my body & basic common sense. I know for a fact that something is really wrong with the justice system if they could see through my eyes as to experience what I have with all of this. And then to discard it all.
Posted by Lise Latulippe
Since my lawyer here in Canada was working on getting the doctors responsible for my condition! I was denied help to start my lawsuit with Botox! No Canadian lawyer will go after Allergan since it is US base and was denied help by a lawyer from that firm in 2011! That sum it up! Unless someone start a class action lawsuit we have no recourse no matter what anyone says! Diagnose is hard to find and doctors here all have their back!
Posted by Dee Spears
I am the one who lost a Botox suit. Mine was the first suit. I still believe Botox was the cause of my daughter's death. She died of Respiratory Failure. This is one of the side effects of Botox (botulism). She could not swallow, either. Ray Chester is the best person I know and he will bring them all down.
Posted by Sandra
I received Botox in August 2012, on me left side of my face due to having Bells Palsey, in the right side. That evening I experienced headache, diarrhea, blurred vision, something that felt like electricy shooting up from my forehead to the top of my head, and weakness. Around three weeks later, I had what doctors call a "T.I.A." a small stroke, there was nothing small about what I felt, it started with dizziness & that electrical feeling again. I ended up in the hospital 2 more times, the doctors think it was caused by the Botox. I will never again get Botox, not worth it!
Posted by Annette
I have suffered for the last 11 months from Botox side effects and I only had 4 units! We have started a Botox Support Community web site - please visit and you will see the extent of the side effects from this toxin. I was not given any warnings prior to Botox injections - how does this happen when there is a Black Box warning on the product - I wish I had done my own research beforehand - hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Posted by Lise Latulippe
Thank you so much for your reply, I truly am grateful for the time you have taken to read my comment and your interest in my case. Before I do fill out the form, this morning I have taken one more step to move my case forward and that is bringing criminal charges against these doctors and since they concluded that I have so much information to go through I was told by the police officer that I was speaking to that it might take a few days before an investigator contact me. Once the charge are brought forward then I can move on to this next step. Will be in touch with you soon and want to keep this matter private untill the charges are brought forward.
Thanks again for your time and your interest in this very important matter.
Posted by Jen
I too am from Canada and had cosmetic botox injected in November for the first time with an additional "touch-up" 7 days later and 5 days after the second injections I started having double vision problems to the point where I was unable to drive or do my work on the computer. I was sent to an opthamologist who maintained that it was impossible for the botox to migrate to the eye muscles and that I had some latent eye directional disorder that randomly (and conveniently) appeared right then after 55 years of great vision, not even needing reading glasses. He has prescribed glasses for me with a prism lens that makes me feel even more nauseous. I also have a drooping eyelid and minor problems with word formation and instead of having any benefit from this botox, I am suffering through the holiday season with my kids home and having to drive me everywhere. The doctor who did the injections did not give me anything in his education and consent form that even hinted at possible vision problems, and if I had known this, I would not have proceeded with this treatment since I am an active hockey player and competitive triathlete and need to be able to see. I have not seen a lawyer but I suspect that any action would be fought vigourously with the full weight of the ontario medical association and the closed ranks of the doctors behind both this particular doctor and the company. If anyone knows of a Canadian lawyer who is willing to take on these cases, I would be pleased to have that information.
Posted by Lise
Too bad your in Texas. I am from Canada and beleive me I am suffering very severe side effects from Botox injections that I was given for pain. I too suffer the same kind of side effects and much more severe which include completly loosing my sense of smell and taste, not to mention heart, breathing problem , swelling, blurriness and double vision, nauseating, tingling, chill and shiver, stiff nerves at time and other almost paralyse and unable to move, dizziness, drowsiness, problem with my hearing, the taste in my mouth get so intoxicating at time that it literally knock me out. Also cause blister and cuts through my skin in my mouth and my hands. It burns right through and now I have the scars to prove it along with many pics that I took. I was given 5/ 100 unit of Botox every 3 month for two years and prior to that I was given 4 every 3 months. I too when I contacted Botox they denied that it had anything to do with what was happening to me but I got them to relunclanly assign me a number. I tried many time to send them photos and proof of what was happening and even how to contact me me but their silence has been deafining! The only problem I have here in Canada is a lawyer will not take the case unless they have proof and that the doctor in question is found to be incompetent! What do you suggest I do in my case? And also I have manage to take a sample of a sucration that form in my throat that altered my sense of smell and taste but can't find anyone to analyse it which I think can shed some light on my case! I can't find anyone with any knowledge to help me and also came to the reality that there is not a darn thing they can do to reverse these severe side effects. Any suggestion on your part would begreatly appreciated,
Many thanks in advance:)
LawyersandSettlements.com is an online news and information site for the general public and legal community. As a legal news resource, we have emerged as an independent & trusted voice. We provide detailed and quality information on various lawsuits filed including Drugs & Medical Cases.