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Allergan Settles Oklahoma Botox Case During Trial

Allergan Inc. reached a confidential settlement during trial with the mother of a 6-year-old Oklahoma boy who wound up on a ventilator after he was injected with Botox.

The mother of Jackson Wells claimed the injection, given to treat spasticity in his legs, caused the boy to develop acute botulism, leaving him unable to breathe on his own. Jessica Wells also claimed Allergan promoted the drug for children despite a lack of regulatory approval for such use.

Allergan settled the lawsuit yesterday during trial while the boy’s treating doctor was testifying, said plaintiffs’ lawyer Ray Chester. The trial began Feb. 19 in Oklahoma City federal court.

“While the amount is confidential, young Jackson Wells will be well taken care of for life,” Chester said in an interview today. U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron confirmed the settlement in a one-page order yesterday closing the case.

Bonnie Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Irvine, California-based Allergan, declined to comment on the settlement.

Botox, Allergan’s best-selling product, generated more than $1.7 billion in sales last year, about equally divided between uses for medical purposes and wrinkle treatment, according to the company’s earnings statement this month. The company is projecting as much as $2 billion in 2013 sales.

The case is Wells v. Allergan Inc., CIV-12-973-C, U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City).

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