Judge’s Order Streamlines Zofran Lawsuits


Doctors have been using Zofran to help expectant mothers who complain of severe morning sickness during their first trimester to help ease the nausea. While the drug settles the mother’s stomach, it can also have some alarming side effects. There have been several reports of Zofran allegedly triggering birth defects, sometimes fatal, in babies.

Although the makers of Zofran, GlaxoSmithKline, has refrained from commenting about the tendency of the drug to lead to birth defects, claims indicate that the drug may be responsible for:

  • transposition of the greater vessels
  • ventricular septal defect
  • clubfoot
  • respiratory distress
  • kidney defects
  • cleft lip and palate
  • tetralogy of fallot
  • atrial septal defect

Birth-Defect-Word-Cloud-300x210The sheer number of the Zofran lawsuits plaintiffs have files prompted the judicial system to consolidate the cases which were then passed on to the Honorable Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to oversee. The judge recently issued a new order that process to simplify the filing process. Instead of having to go through a complicated and potentially lengthy process, Judge Saylor’s new order makes it possible for any plaintiff who feels Zofran is responsible for their child’s birth defects to add the case directly to the multidistrict litigation number 2657 that’s already in place. The only stipulations are that the case has to be filed against GlaxoSmithKline and that the plaintiffs all have to make common allegations.

Prior to this latest change in the way that Zofran lawsuits were processed, plaintiffs had to first file their lawsuit in their home state’s federal court before that court eventually added the case to the consolidated case load. Saylor’s order is designed to fast track cases, which will not only speed up the legal process, it will also save everyone involved a great deal of time and frustration.

Once the case has been added to the MDL, an ordered issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation allows it to be transferred to Saylor’s court docket.

This is the sixth order that Saylor has made since he was assigned the Zofran lawsuits. One of his motivating reasons for drafting this most recent order stems from the fact that the number of birth defect lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline are expected to continue climbing.

One of the interesting things about these cases is that GlaxoSmithKline’s marketing tactics are being addressed in these lawsuits. Despite what the marketing material patients and doctors receive, Zofran use for morning sickness was never officially tested in clinical trials. The company has engaged in a type of marketing that’s referred to as “off-label” promotion where they imply the medication can be used for something, such as treating morning sickness, without actually saying the words.

If you used Zofran during your first trimester and then gave birth to a child who suffered from birth defects, you may have a solid case against GlaxoSmithKline. The only way to know for sure is by meeting with an experienced attorney who will advise you about what legal actions you can take. You will want to act quickly, before the statute of limitations in your state runs out and you run out of legal options.