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Zofran Lawyer

Nausea is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy. Also known as morning sickness, this minor but certainly inconvenient side effect burdens many pregnant women.

To help treat this side effect, many doctors previously prescribed Zofran, also known as Ondansetron. Unfortunately, the effects of this drug on the fetuses of pregnant women was not well-known at the time. This lapse in proper testing of the drug resulted in many children being born with congenital heart defects.

A Zofran lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation if your child was born with a heart defect after a doctor prescribed you this drug. Additionally, qualified attorneys could help you if you experienced an injury or the loss of your child, as well as help determine if you qualify to join a Zofran mass tort case.

Connections Between Zofran and Heart Defects

GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Zofran, originally designed the drug for use as an anti-nausea medication to treat symptoms after chemotherapy or surgery. However, GSK never intended for the drug to be used as a treatment for morning sickness.

Unfortunately for pregnant women, the most prominent alternative anti-nausea medication left the market in 1983. When Zofran finally received FDA approval in 1991, doctors saw the potential to use this drug as a treatment for morning sickness. The use of Zofran in this manner continues to this day.

However, since Zofran was not tested for its effects on pregnant women, the effects on their unborn children were catastrophic. In 2013, medical studies indicated that Zofran could cause abnormal heart rhythms in patients. Even worse, it could have a detrimental effect on an unborn child if taken within the first trimester.

This resulted in many children being born with a “hole-in-the-heart” birth defect, which could result in an abnormal heartbeat, an increase in the risk for stroke, and general heart failure. A Zofran lawyer could help people make the connections between their child’s heart conditions and the use of Zofran during pregnancy.

When Is a Mass Tort Appropriate?

Normally, a person injured by the actions of a company such as GlaxoSmithKline must pursue their lawsuit as an individual. This is often a daunting task, as these drug companies have massive legal departments and typically fight tooth-and-nail to protect their profits.

Conversely, a mass tort allows multiple plaintiffs to join their cases together into a single lawsuit. This allows injured victims to pool their resources, select one expert witness to present evidence on behalf of all of them, and hold a single trial to decide the truth of the matter.

However, a mass tort is not always acceptable under the law. According to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, to qualify as a mass tort, a case must:

  • Involve multiple plaintiffs who suffer injuries because of the negligence of a single defendant
  • Hold that a substantially identical fact pattern caused all the plaintiffs’ injuries

In the case of Zofran, thousands of children were born with congenital heart defects because of the drug’s side effects. Since GSK designed this drug, both elements of a mass tort claim are present.

In fact, there is currently a mass tort underway in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts representing Zofran victims. A Zofran lawyer could help determine if a plaintiff’s case fits the requirements for this legal action.

A Zofran Attorney Could Help Pursue Compensation for a Birth Defect

Not every injury that results from taking a drug stems from poor design or improper manufacture. Others result from manufacturers of a drug advertising its use for an improper manner.

A prominent example of this dynamic is GlaxoSmithKline pushing Zofran for use as an anti-nausea medication for pregnant women. This choice by the company resulted in many children suffering from congenital heart defects that affected their health for the rest of their lives.

If your child has suffered injuries after you were prescribed Zofran, you may have the right to seek compensation. Oftentimes, this could include filing a claim for compensation under the framework of a mass tort, and in some cases, you may already qualify for a mass tort already accepted in the courts. Contact a Zofran lawyer today to evaluate your legal options.