A Cook County jury awarded the $18.5 million verdict against a major Chicago Hospital to a 12-year-old boy and his parents after the mother was given a drug, Depakote, known to cause birth defects while pregnant.

The plaintiffs, and their son, will recover $12 million following a high-low agreement entered before the jury came back from deliberating. The high was $12 million and the low was $2 million.

In May 2005, medical staff at the hospital prescribed Depakote as part of her ongoing mental health treatment. She had been previously diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

Doctors allegedly knew at the time Depakote, a drug used to treat seizures and bipolar disorders, could cause debilitating birth defects. They contended the medication was necessary due to the seriousness of the plaintiff’s condition. At the time the mother was not sure she was pregnant, was in fact pregnant, and gave birth to a son born with hydrocephalus, spina bifida and other permanently debilitating abnormalities.

Attorneys Marvin A. Brustin, Milo W. Lundblad and Matthew I. Baker Brustin & Lundblad Ltd.