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Australian woman born with Thalidomide birth defects reaches mu
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THEMA: Australian woman born with Thalidomide birth defects reaches mu

Australian woman born with Thalidomide birth defects reaches mu 21 Jul 2012 10:12 #20155

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Australian woman born with Thalidomide birth defects reaches multi-million dollar settlement



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Supreme Court

Bo Wilson

18 July 2012

An Australian woman born without arms and legs after her pregnant mother took the anti-morning sickness drug Thalidomide has reached a multimillion dollar settlement with the medicine’s British distributor.

Lynette Rowe, 50, of Melbourne, is leading a class-action suit on behalf of children born with congenital birth defects linked to Thalidomide. The drug was given to pregnant women in the 1950s and 1960s as a treatment for morning sickness, but was yanked from the market in 1961 after it was linked to birth defects. It led to deformities in thousands of babies across the world.

Rowe sued three parties: German drugmaker Grunenthal, UK-based Distillers Company (Biochemicals) Ltd. - which sold the drug in Australia - and Diageo Scotland Ltd., the successor company to Distillers. The lawsuit claims that Grunenthal should have known Thalidomide was linked to birth defects when it was on the market.

In Victoria state Supreme Court on Wednesday, Rowe’s lawyer, Peter Gordon, said his client had reached a settlement with Diageo and Distillers while Grunenthal declined to settle.

Exact terms of the settlement were confidential, but Rowe’s lawyers said it was several million dollars. The lawsuit asked for compensation for the victims’ pain and suffering, lost wages and future medical care.

“This is a great outcome for a wonderful family,” Gordon said in a statement. “The amount of the settlement will remain private but I can say it is a multimillion dollar amount and will be sufficient to provide a very good level of care for Lyn for the rest of her life.”

More than 100 others who are part of the class action will also have their claims heard by Diageo, Gordon said.

Aw: Australian woman born with Thalidomide birth defects reaches mu 21 Jul 2012 16:32 #20177

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