In a new Zofran lawsuit, parents from Brazoria, Texas – a city just outside Houston – say that GlaxoSmithKline’s potent anti-nausea drug led to tragic results in two pregnancies. Their first child, exposed to Zofran during the first trimester of pregnancy, died within a month of being born, according to court documents. Their second child, now thirteen years old, lives with congenital kidney defects.
The family’s complaint (PDF) was initially filed on July 24, 2015 in the US District Court for the District of Delaware. The parents submitted their Short Form Complaint to the US District Court for Massachusetts – where nearly 300 Zofran lawsuits have been consolidated – on September 6, 2016. The lawsuit is registered as case number 1:15-cv-13711-FDS.
Family Says Zofran Caused Fatal Congenital Heart Defects
Plaintiff became pregnant in November of 2000 – only two years before whistle-blowers Thomas Gerahty and Matthew Burke would accuse GlaxoSmithKline of promoting Zofran for off-label use during pregnancy.
In an early ultrasound, the family claims, their unborn daughter H.H. was seen to be healthy. At this point in the pregnancy, doctors could find no sign of abnormalities. But after the mother began to experience morning sickness, she was prescribed Zofran – taking the drug as prescribed during the first trimester.
By 20 weeks, during another routine diagnostic test, Plaintiff’s obstetrician discovered that H.H. “had developed severe physical malformations, including severe and life-threatening heart defects,” according to court documents. In recent years, researchers have linked Zofran – when taken during the first trimester – to an increased risk of heart defects. The drug’s potential dangers are still being studied around the world.
Deemed a “high risk birth,” H.H. was delivered via cesarean section on August 2, 2000. “A team of pediatric cardiac specialists” waited nearby, the parents say. After being delivered, Plaintiffs continue, H.H. was “whisked away from her mother” and transferred to an entirely different hospital. After experiencing breathing difficulties, the child was placed on a mechanical ventilator.
H.H. would live “the remainder of her life,” her parents say, in the NICU. The child died one month later, on August 2, 2000 – despite undergoing “multiple surgeries and medical treatments,” the lawsuit claims. H.H. had been born with a severely malformed aorta. The left side of her heart was one-fifth the normal size.
Second Child Born With Kidney Defects, Parents Claim
Two years later, Plaintiff again became pregnant – another girl, named B.H. in court documents. As in her previous pregnancy, the mother says she became extremely nauseous and was prescribed Zofran during the first trimester.
Like H.H., B.H. was considered a high-risk birth, the parents write. The child was delivered on February 18, 2003, but “immediately” began to experience severe vomiting and reflux. B.H. was “unable to ingest and retain sufficient nutrition, necessitating an extended hospital stay, and extensive testing,” Plaintiffs say.
B.H., who continues to suffer from “reflux, urinary and kidney maladies,” according to her parents, was born with congenital kidney defects. The family says that her early exposure to Zofran is to blame.
Can Families Still File Zofran Lawsuits?
In lawsuit after lawsuit, more than 280 families tell a similar story. Mothers from across the country describe being prescribed Zofran – a drug never approved for use during pregnancy – and giving birth to children with severe congenital malformations. Due to their striking similarities, these cases have been “consolidated” in a Boston federal court, where they will continue through pre-trial proceedings together. But lawsuits are still being filed as individual personal injury actions, not class actions.
If you or a loved one were prescribed Zofran during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with birth defects, the experienced attorneys at Monheit Law can help. Filing a Zofran lawsuit is still possible. Your family may be eligible to pursue significant financial compensation. Call our lawyers today to receive a free legal consultation – at no obligation.