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Eight bellwether cases have been selected for trial against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Topamax. All eight of the scheduled cases involve craniofacial birth defects known as cleft palate and lip. The plaintiffs in the cases allege that Janssen failed to warn of the significant increased risk of these birth defects associated with Topamax.

Bellwether case trials are used by the court to help determine the value of all of the cases that have been filed. Results from bellwether trials often lead to meaningful settlement discussions, as both the plaintiffs and defendants learn about the strengths and weaknesses of what they are able to prove in a court of law about the product liability and damages caused by the product. The defendant and the plaintiff each selected four cases for the trials.

Depositions and other discovery have been proceeding against Janssen. Recently, the deposition of Janssen’s Director of Safety was taken by Topamax lawyer Jim Ronca of the Anapol Schwartz law firm. Mr. Ronca will take another key deposition on December 19.

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