A woman who drank bourbon regularly during pregnancy is seeking damages from a liquor company for her son's severe birth defects in a potentially landmark federal case.

Candace Thorp of Seattle and her husband, Harold, are suing the James B. Beam Distillery Co. of Kentucky, claiming it should have provided warning labels on its whiskey bottles pointing out that alcohol can cause birth defects.The Thorp case is believed to be the first lawsuit involving fetal alcohol syndrome to go to trial in the nation, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Thursday. Seattle doctors first identified and named the syndrome in 1973, and one of those doctors is listed as a witness for the Thorps.

The case is scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court in Seattle, with jury selection starting Monday.