Late summer has brought on a flurry of lawsuits against drug giant GlaxoSmithKline over its anti-nausea drug, Zofran (ondansetron). Originally marketed to treat severe nausea in cancer patients, the drug has been prescribed “off-label” to pregnant women to alleviate similar symptoms associated with morning sickness, but at a price—the potential to cause birth defects. Lawsuits filed recently include claims by a Texan couple whose daughter was born with a cleft palate after being exposed to Zofran (ondansetron) during gestation; a mother from Alabama who claims her child’s heart and kidney defects resulted from taking Zofran (ondansetron) throughout her pregnancy; and a Massachusetts family whose daughter had to undergo a life-saving heart operation five days after birth, allegedly due to the mother taking Zofran (ondansetron) to cope with morning sickness.
Plaintiffs’ firm Grant & Eisenhofer has been at the forefront of the litigation since it all began, filing some of the first cases in the country against GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of families and mothers alleging similar claims, including cases in the Southern District of Alabama and the Eastern District of Louisiana. These cases claim that Zofran (ondansetron) caused debilitating fetal heart defects that have required surgical pacemakers and repeated surgeries to correct the damage that the drug allegedly inflicted. Dozens of cases against GlaxoSmithKline are pending before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which will meet on October 1, 2015 to determine if the cases qualify for consolidation. Centralizing cases alleging similar claims before one judge serves as a mechanism for expedited pretrial proceedings, and is commonly known as an “MDL.”
If you or a loved one took Zofran (ondansetron) for morning sickness during your first trimester and your baby was born with a cleft palate, cleft lip, or congenital heart defect, please contact us at 877-978-0169 for a confidential evaluation of your potential claim.