$3.5 Million Settlement for Dangerous Theospan

Misuse of the asthma drug Theophylline in 1984 caused a previously healthy three-year-old to suffer seizures, which left her profoundly retarded and spastic.

When the firm began representing the family of the three year-old in 1991, he undertook years of investigation, taking depositions and consulting with experts across the country, to establish the negligence of both the manufacturer and distributors of Theospan 65.

In 1984 the child was a perfectly healthy Ocean County toddler. The family’s doctor prescribed the drug Theospan 65 for treatment of a cold. As a result, she suffered a severe and prolonged seizure which left her profoundly retarded and spastic.

For years her parents could not understand what had happened. Finally, in February 1991, the parents saw a program about the dangers of Theospan on ABC’s magazine show “Prime Time Live.” This was the first clue they had that their daughter’s condition could have been caused by misuse of Theospan.

Despite warnings in new guidelines issued by the FDA regarding the use of Theophylline and Theospan in 1982 and 1983, doctors prescribing Theophylline and its derivatives, commonly used to treat asthma and bronchitis, the manufacturers and distributors of the drug did not inform doctors about the dangers of this drug, including warnings that the drug was not safe for children under five years old. The distributor, Laser, Inc., failed to update warning literature to doctors. Prior to the firm obtaining the settlement, a trial had been scheduled for June 1996.

The $3.5 million settlement will finally compensate and provide the family with the resources to give their child, now 14 years old, with the special care she will always need. The firm continues to monitor cases involving misuse of Theospan.