Contact: Jennifer Fuson, Cecelia Prewett
202.965.3500, ext. 8369
Immediate Stay Memo Helps People Like Kimberly Gueldenzoph
Right to Justice Protected for Pregnant Women Harmed by Prescription Drugs
Washington, DC—If you tried to guess how Kimberly Gueldenzoph from Lambertville, Michigan, was changed yesterday, it would be doubtful you would guess the immediate stay memorandum issued by President Obama’s Chief of Staff. But that is exactly the reason.
Yesterday’s issue of a memo direct federal departments and agencies to stay regulations that aren’t yet final until a review can be conducted by the new administration froze the rule that could prevent Kimberly Gueldenzoph from receiving justice. One of the pending rules is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirement for prescription drugs for pregnancy and lactation. Kimberly’s daughter Kenndyl died from complications arising from a congenital heart defect Kimberly believes was caused from her taking Paxil during part of her pregnancy. Neither Kimberly nor her doctor knew that taking Paxil during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, but the manufacturer of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) did. The FDA rule could prevent people harmed by prescription drugs while pregnant or breastfeeding from seeking justice in the courts. Kenndyl was just two weeks old.
In fact, over 23 pending rules including several dealing with auto safety and products requiring FDA approval were stayed and have no effect on state tort law.
On January 12, AAJ asked the Obama administration to reverse Bush-era regulations that have given complete immunity to negligent corporations and “preempted” the right of Americans to hold wrongdoers accountable through the civil justice system. For more information, see www.justice.org/newsroom.