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Paxil Plaintiff Settles Birth Defects Lawsuit

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Watertown, SDRecent publications indicate a woman has settled her Paxil birth defects lawsuit, ending a legal process that began with the 2004 death of her newborn son. The lawsuit alleged her son suffered from Paxil birth defects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

The plaintiff, Jennifer Berg, alleged her use of Paxil during pregnancy caused her son to be born with PPHN. Shortly after he was born, Jennifer's son, Nathan, was transferred to a different hospital, where he died 48 days after being born. According to an Associated Press report (7/19/10), Berg's lawsuit was settled in July 2010 for an undisclosed amount.

Jennifer's lawsuit alleged that GlaxoSmithKline knew or should have known about the reports of PPHN in babies who were exposed to Paxil prior to birth.

In 2007, Lawyers and Settlements interviewed Jennifer about her son's injuries. At the time, she said that up until the moment Nathan was born, they had no idea there was anything wrong. But, once he was born he turned blue from an inability to breathe [babies with PPHN do not have properly oxygenated blood]. Because he was born in a small town, doctors determined quickly that they could not help him, so he was transferred to a larger hospital. Even at that hospital, doctors were unable to help Nathan, so he was flown to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

Jennifer spent two months at Nathan's side at the Children's Hospital, except for times when she slept. Unfortunately, there was nothing that doctors could do for Nathan there, either, and he died after 48 days.

"I never had the chance to hold him until the doctors decided there was nothing else they could do," Jennifer said. "When he was disconnected from the machine, I was able to hold him."

Jennifer said she took Paxil for about five years, believing the medication was safe during pregnancy. Only a few months after Nathan died did Jennifer begin to investigate the alleged link between Paxil and PPHN.

"I know it wasn't my fault but it's still so hard to swallow," Jennifer said during the 2007 interview. "Nobody should have to tell a four year old that his baby brother died."

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