All Zofran Lawsuits Will Be Consolidated In MDLThe U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced on October 13th, 2015, that all Zofran lawsuits would be consolidated into MDL 2657.
The ConsolidationThe move to consolidate does not come as a surprise considering both GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturers of Zofran, and the more than 60 plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against the company, were in favor of the MDL. GlaxoSmithKline initially filed the motion to consolidate, but the plaintiffs soon made it clear that they were also in favor of the move.
The Judicial Panel heard arguments from both sides on October 1st, 2015. The primary goals of the consolidation are to eliminate duplicate discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and conserve the resources of each party.
All complaints will now be overseen by U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor in the District Court of Massachusetts. GSK had initially requested the chosen court be in Pennsylvania, however, the plaintiffs gave several other options to the panel, including Massachusetts.
This decision does not mean that the plaintiffs are now part of a class action lawsuit. Each lawsuit will remain individual. The consolidation simply means that the courts recognize that each lawsuit has a similar set of allegations.
The LawsuitsEach of the lawsuits that name GlaxoSmithKline as a defendant allege that the drug Zofran caused a birth defect in an unborn child.
Zofran was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy and radiation treatments, or following anesthesia. The drug was never approved as a treatment for expectant mothers experiencing morning sickness.
Nonetheless, GSK began to market Zofran to the medical community and the public as a safe treatment for morning sickness. Countless women were prescribed the drug by their doctors. It wasn’t long before GSK allegedly began to receive reports of birth defects in children who were born to women that took Zofran during their pregnancy.
The birth defects listed in these complaints include cleft lip, cleft palate, atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, transposition of the greater vessels, kidney defects, and clubfoot. In most instances, the affected child has had to undergo at least one surgery. Each mother states that if she had known about the potential risks associated with Zofran, she never would have taken the drug while pregnant.