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Zofran Birth Defects Litigation Update

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Zofran Birth Defects Litigation Update
11.14.2016 News

For more than 300 families in the Zofran litigation, the process has been incredibly slow and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has fought the allegations at every turn. Despite the pace, the litigation has slowly moved forward and is getting closer to a trial date.

This past summer, fact discovery began and GSK proposed a sequenced discovery plan that attempted to circumvent investigation into whether or not the company illegally marketed Zofran to pregnant women. Plaintiffs were outraged and immediately refused to agree to the discovery plan.

GSK tried to derail the litigation just a few months later when it asked the judge to dismiss 27 Zofran lawsuits. Attorneys for the company alleged these lawsuits should be dismissed because they include women who took the generic version of Zofran, which is not manufactured by the company. Additionally, GSK alleged these lawsuits should be subject to state laws – not the federal laws used in multidistrict litigation – because the lawsuits were originally filed in state courts. State laws do not allow patients to hold name brand manufacturers liable for generic equivalents.

The company also filed a second motion to have all allegations of fraud removed from the Zofran lawsuits because they believe plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient evidence of this claim.

Plaintiffs did not take these motions lying down, calling the motions “sweeping” and “inappropriate.” Plaintiffs believe GSK should be held responsible for generic versions of its drug because generic manufacturers are unable to change warning labels on the drugs themselves unless and until the brand name manufacturer does so first. While generic manufacturers might have wanted to include a warning that Zofran might cause birth defects in pregnant women, only GSK had the ability to change the label.

In response to the defense’s allegations they failed to prove fraud allegations, plaintiffs point to GSK’s massive settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012. The company pled guilty to illegally marketing several drugs, including Zofran, and agreed to pay $3 billion in fines. 

Blizzard & Nabers: Zofran Lawsuit Attorneys

If you took Zofran during pregnancy for nausea, and your child was born with birth defects, you may be entitled to compensation. Taking on pharmaceutical companies is an intimidating prospect, but the mass tort attorneys of Blizzard & Nabers have years of successful litigation experience handling a wide range of pharmaceutical cases. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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