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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
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Zofran Lawsuit MDL Is Real, But Don’t Believe Everything You Read


Since the recent consolidation of Zofran lawsuits, the US court system has seen a rapid rise in new claims involving the powerful anti-nausea drug.

These recent developments, which will surely alter the course of litigation dramatically, have seen a lot of press coverage. Some of this reporting has been confused, and many articles have misrepresented the facts outright.

Zofran Lawsuits Headed To Boston, Not Pennsylvania

Several reports have stated that the Zofran MDL will be located in Pennsylvania. That’s not true. The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation’s October transfer order sent a total of 12 birth defect lawsuits to Boston, Massachusetts for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. Further JPML statistics, published three days after the federal panel’s decision was announced, suggest that three other claims were quickly added to the MDL.

Beyond that, few details are available to the public. In fact, the US District Court of Massachusetts’ website hasn’t yet been updated to include the Zofran consolidation on its list of active Multi-District Litigations.

Here’s What We Know About The True Number Of Birth Defect Lawsuits.

Other sources have reported that around 200 Zofran birth defect lawsuits are now consolidated in Boston. That is a version of the truth, but somewhat misleading.

More than 100 new birth defect claims were filed against GlaxoSmithKline (and generic drug manufacturers) in the month since the JPML’s decision on October 13th. But few of these lawsuits were filed in Massachusetts.

According to court records available through the Public Access To Court Electronic Records (PACER) system*, a total of 70 Zofran lawsuits are filed in the US District Court of Massachusetts as of November 11, 2015. That’s a far cry from 200 by any measure, and care should be taken in interpreting these numbers.

Most Of Reportedly “New” Claims In Boston Were Filed Months Ago

For example, 11 lawsuits were registered in Boston on November 5th alone. But only one of those claims was actually new; the other 8 had been filed previously (some months ago) in Federal Courts across the country. Some of the cases in Massachusetts are new. All nine of the claims registered between October 29th and 30th saw light for the first time in Boston. Another nine new lawsuits were filed on November 6th.

All of these claims, both old and new, have been assigned to Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV, who has been picked to preside over the consolidation. All 70 appear on the District’s docket for 1:15-md-02657-FDS, the official case number for the Zofran MDL.

But since the Zofran MDL only officially includes 70 lawsuits, we can assume that only a portion of the newly-filed claims have been consolidated at this point.

It seems clear that most of the Zofran lawsuits pending in Boston are actually cases that have been transferred there from their original venues. Of the around 60 claims that were filed prior to the consolidation, most have already made their way to Massachusetts.

Zofran Lawsuits Are Still Being Filed In Other Courts

In other courts, however, new lawsuits are being filed, and at a fast pace. Around 110 claims have been registered, mainly in Alabama and Louisiana, since the JPML decided to consolidate the Zofran litigation. Of these new lawsuits, only 11 have been officially transferred to Boston so far.

None of this should dissuade parents who believe they have a valid Zofran lawsuit from exploring their legal options. Monheit Law’s experienced attorneys are available 24 / 7 to answer your questions. Just call 1-877-620-8411 for a free consultation.

*a log-in is required to access PACER records and the system charges a nominal fee.

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