Three attorneys have been appointed as MDL 2657 Co-Lead CounselPretrial proceedings are expected to begin now that Judge F. Dennis Saylor has appointed a Co-Lead Counsel. In mid-November, the Honorable Judge F. Dennis Saylor appointed three attorneys as co-lead counsel for Zofran plaintiffs. His choices included Barone Baden, Elizabeth Graham, and Tobias Millrood.
The co-lead counsel will be responsible for making sure that all work relating to the litigation process is prosecuted effectively, economically, and efficiently. They will also act as spokespersons for the plaintiffs at pretrial hearings and coordinate the discovery, pretrial proceedings, and trials.
Since the announcement by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation indicating that Zofran lawsuits would be consolidated into MDL 2657, plaintiffs have been anxiously waiting to hear about when pretrial proceedings would begin. Appointing the co-lead counsel is the first step in the process.
Zofran Birth Defect LawsuitsApproval for Zofran was given to GlaxoSmithKline by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1991. The drug, an anti-emetic, was approved for patients who were nauseous or vomiting after anesthesia, radiation, or chemotherapy. The FDA did not include approval for the use of the drug in expectant mothers, or give any indication that the drug was safe for unborn children.
GSK began a country wide marketing campaign that promoted the drug as a safe and effective treatment for morning sickness, a side effect of pregnancy frequently experienced during the first trimester. Thousands of women were prescribed the drug by their doctors, and soon, the company allegedly began to receive reports of birth defects in children born to women that had taken the drug.
Over the past two years, numerous parents have filed lawsuits against GSK. Each case alleges that the drug caused a birth defect in an unborn child. A wide variety of birth defects have been noted in the complaints including transposition of the greater vessels (TGV), atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), clubfoot, kidney defects, cleft lip, and cleft palate. In each case, the child named in the complaint has had to undergo one, if not several, surgical procedures to correct their defect. The families are seeking compensation for their child’s pain and suffering, as well as medical expenses.