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Michael Monheit
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Family Speaks Out On Zofran Lawsuit


While more than 200 families have now filed Zofran lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline, few – if any – have spoken openly about their challenging situation. That changed recently, with an article published by a Fox News affiliate based in Alabama. In the write-up, reporter Lydia Hu spoke to Jon and Clara Rickman, parents from Birmingham, who say a first-trimester prescription of Zofran caused their son’s heart defects.

“I Don’t Want Other Mothers To Go Through What I’ve Been Through”

The Rickmans, who filed a lawsuit against GSK on October 27, 2015, believe that, by speaking out to the press, “they can prevent a similar fate for others.” Zofran is currently the world’s leading morning sickness drug – but that’s an off-label use, one for which the medication has never been approved.

Clara took a generic version of Zofran’s active ingredient, ondansetron, but believes that GlaxoSmithKline should be held accountable, since the company still controls the wording of Zofran’s warning label. Neither that label, nor her own OB/GYN, ever warned Clara that Zofran’s effects had never been tested in pregnant women, the mother claims. Her child, born in 2015, was quickly diagnosed with multiple congenital heart defects, including atrial septal defect. The condition, marked by a hole in heart walls, has been linked to Zofran exposure by at least 2 major European studies. Clara thinks she should have been warned of the link much earlier – before she began taking the drug.

The Rickmans say their son has undergone 3 surgeries already, the first came at only five days old. Today, Clara’s reminded of her choice, or lack thereof, every time she looks at her son. She told Hu: “every day, you see his scar. And I can’t never fix it and I think it’s my fault […] I don’t want other mothers to go through what I’ve been through. And I don’t want them to feel guilty for the rest of their life, like I do.”

Birth Defect Lawsuits Still Possible

Attorneys at Monheit Law, who have spoken to hundreds of families considering their own Zofran lawsuits, say the Rickmans are some of the only Plaintiffs to speak publicly about their experiences.

Parents continue to file lawsuits, which have been centralized in the US District Court of Massachusetts. Monheit Law’s experienced lawyers offer a free consultation to any and all families hoping to learn more about their own legal options. For more information, call (877) 620-8411.


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  1. Karen Steinitz says:
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    I’m curious to learn more about this. My son was born 6/10/2010 and I took Zofran during my first trimester. I live in California. My son was born perfectly healthy but suffers from some emotional, developmental issues – delays.

    He has never been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder but his symptoms mirror those. He is socially and emotionally behind his peers. Its mild, but a few examples would be…. he is sensitive and overreacts to loud noise, crowds, wasn’t potty trained until age 4, difficulty with motor tasks and extremely emotional.

    Ive taken him to occupational therapy (this was a few years ago) and had him evaluated by a hearing specialist when he was younger (he was fine) but there have always been some obvious symptoms.

    I’m curious if there could be a relationship to the drug. I had a perfectly normal pregnancy, did genetic testing and an amnio (I was almost 35 when I gave birth) so I wanted to take all precautions. There were no indications at birth that anything was out of the ordinary.

    I took no other medication and we have no genetic history or anything of this kind in our family (mine and my husband’s).


    My name is Karen Shrira Steinitz and I am a lawyer in California and interested in learning more about this…

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      Thank you for sharing your story. There are many different birth defects associated with this medication. The cases we currently are representing involve children who have suffered a cleft palate and also others who have suffered a variety of heart birth defects. There are other attorney working on cases involving other birth defects such as kidney issues, craniosynostosis, club foot, and others. Feel free to call me if you have specific questions.

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