Zofran Birth Defects Lawsuits Transferred to Massachusetts

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Zofran Birth Defects Lawsuits Transferred to Massachusetts
10.16.2015 News

Zofran birth defects lawsuits have been filed around the country for almost a year, but until now they were filed individually in the location most appropriate for each case. Now, the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has found the Zofran birth defects cases share enough common issues to be consolidated into one central court as MDL 2657.

Going forward, every claim filed in any federal court will be automatically transferred to the District Court of Massachusetts in Boston under the guidance of Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV in In Re Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2657. While multidistrict litigation may sound similar to class action litigation, it’s not. In a class action, one person – a class representative – files the lawsuit on behalf of everyone else and all class members get the same recovery. In a mass tort or multidistrict litigation, each injured party files its own lawsuit and gets its own individual recovery – the lawsuits are all filed in the same court to conserve judicial resources.

Boston, Massachusetts A Good Fit For Zofran Litigation

Before the JPML made its decision, five Zofran lawsuits were already on file in Massachusetts, and four of those were assigned to Judge Saylor. The very first federal lawsuit filed concerning Zofran birth defects was handled in his courtroom.

In addition to the group of cases already on file in this venue, the Justice Department investigation that ultimately charged GlaxoSmithKline for illegally promoting Zofran began in Boston. GSK faced criminal and civil charges in a lawsuit prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. The company settled those charges for $3 billion in 2012. In this litigation, GSK was accused of illegally marketing Zofran for off-label use during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Zofran Birth Defects Lawsuits: What They’re All About

Zofran Cleft LipWomen that took Zofran while pregnant are filing lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline claiming the pharmaceutical manufacturing giant failed to warn them that Zofran could cause birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate, club foot and heart defects.

An estimated 1 million women take Zofran each year to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP), but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has never approved the drug for use in pregnant women. Zofran is approved to treat nausea and vomiting, but after chemotherapy and/or radiation, not during pregnancy.

Studies have found a two-fold increase in the risk of cleft palate defects in children of women who took Zofran during pregnancy and that the drug causes a 30% overall increased risk of birth defects. More recently, a study published by the medical journal Reproductive Toxicology in October 2014 found that there is a statistically significant increased risk for certain heart defects with Zofran use early in pregnancy.

Blizzard Law Birth Defects Lawyers

Founding partner Ed Blizzard has represented hundreds of families with children who were born with pharmaceutical birth defects. His vast experience has led to his being appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, MDL No. 2342, In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation; in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and serving as liaison counsel for the Paxil Mass Tort Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you have questions about the Zofran birth defects litigation, contact our law firm today for a free and confidential consultation.