Birth defects affect 3% of all babies (one in 33, or ~120,000) every year. While birth defects affect babies in different ways, depending on the severity and what part(s) of the body are involved. Cooney & Conway is a plaintiff-only law firm in Chicago, Illinois, offering legal advice and judgment in birth defect cases. That’s why parents turn to us when they’ve been exposed to toxic (teratogenic) chemicals in the workplace, with billions in settlement agreements.
Exposure to prescription medications, toxic chemicals, or other environmental factors can lead to birth defects. While the causes of birth defects can vary, Cooney & Conway can offer professional insight and advice related to birth defect litigation. We’re a national leader with more than six decades of experience in representing catastrophically injured children.
What are Birth Defects?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a birth defect occurs when the baby is developing, usually during the first three months of pregnancy. Birth defects can range from a cleft lip or missing limbs to muscular dystrophy and spina bifida, or even brain damage and heart disease.
Workplace exposure is most common in agriculture, coal, electronic manufacturing, and high-tech industries. The range of toxic chemicals can involve pesticides, the electronic clean-room environment, or even heavy metal exposure. While some birth defects are easily diagnosed, some of the effects are not easily determined.
What are Toxic Environmental Factors?
Nearly 650,000 toxic chemicals are regularly used in workplaces, which can lead to dangerous exposure situations for parents and long-term side effects for their children. Genotoxin affects cellular DNA and leads to mutations, while teratogen can cause birth defects.
Continuous and intense exposure to heavy metals and toxic chemicals can lead to childhood cancers, infertility, miscarriages, and stillbirths, in addition to birth defects. Even though employers are responsible for protecting workers, safety standards or protective measures may have been violated or ignored.
Unsafe procedures may be continued instead of monitoring, using alternatives, or implementing proper ventilation. Some companies knowingly and with forethought continue bad practices while preparing for litigation when the effects of the contamination will be eventually discovered.
What About Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs and Pregnancy?
Pregnant women can be affected by over-the-counter and prescription drugs, which can lead to birth defects. How drugs will affect pregnant women is often untested and thus unknown, so the injuries and side-effects may only be determined when babies are born with birth defects.
Even when the negative side effects are known, there may be reasons to continue using potentially toxic medications. Medications like Accutane, ACE inhibitors, Antimetabolite, Benzodiazepines, Dolutegravir, SSRIs, Valproate, and Zofran are some prescription drugs associated with birth defects.
In some cases, the treatment benefits to the patient’s condition may outweigh the risks of birth defects. In other situations, a doctor prescribed the treatment without full awareness of the side-effects and/or without knowledge of the pregnancy.
Why Consider a Birth Defects Lawsuit?
If you have been exposed to chemicals or other toxins that may have led to birth defects, you need an advocate to help you determine whether there’s a link between birth defects and chemical exposure.
Even when the side effects are not obvious, learn disorders, autism, or other functional birth defects may be present. We work to determine who the responsible party is for the birth defect(s), and then we hold them liable.
We’ve successfully worked with our clients to get full and fair compensation via judgment or settlement, including consideration for medical treatment, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, damages, and even long-term care. Birth defects can involve medical assistance costs that quickly reach millions of dollars. So, the birth defects lawsuit is not a nicety. It’s essential.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, Cooney & Conway represents families and children who have been affected by birth defects due to the toxic exposure of their parents. When you sign up for a free evaluation, we’ll discuss your situation and offer feedback and advice on your next steps.