Abbott Laboratories Inc. appealed the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis’s judgment on the jury’s verdict in the total amount of $38 million to Maddison Schmidt for her personal injury lawsuit. Of that total amount, $15 million was for compensatory damages; $23 million was for punitive damages.
Abbott argued that the Circuit Court erred in overruling its pretrial motion to transfer venue from the City of St. Louis Circuit Court to the St. Louis County Circuit Court, which are two different courts. St. Louis City operates a separate court system as it is not a municipal entity that is part of the surrounding St. Louis County, which runs its own court system.
Schmidt was born with spina bifida and other birth defects. She resides in Minnesota. Her mother injected Depakote, an anti-epileptic drug, manufactured and marketed by Abbott Laboratories, while Schmidt was in utero. Her mother ingested the Depakote in Minnesota. Abbott’s company headquarters are located in suburban Chicago. Despite the lack of connection with Missouri, Schmidt joined with four Missouri plaintiffs and nineteen other non-Missouri plaintiffs to file a single action against Abbott Laboratories in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis.