Families from all over the country have come forward to file lawsuits against drug company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), alleging the company peddled its drug Zofran for unapproved use during pregnancy. Millions of women have now taken the drug during their first trimesters, a time at which developing fetuses are most susceptible to the effects of a dangerous drug.
Why Are Parents In California Contacting Birth Defect Attorneys?
Because they believe one of the world’s most popular morning sickness drugs may have caused their children’s birth defects. Numerous families, in California and elsewhere, may be eligible to pursue financial compensation themselves, money that can cover on-going medical expenses, lost time at work and the effects of emotional trauma.
For a free attorney evaluation for pregnant women in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco or any other California city, call our knowledgable birth defect lawyers today at (877) 620-8411. Your consultation comes at no charge and no obligation. Just your most important legal questions answered quickly and clearly.
Zofran is an anti-nausea drug. It was approved for use in 1991 by the Food and Drug Administration, but only in patients receiving cancer therapy and patients undergoing surgical anesthesia.
However, numerous sources, including the US Department of Justice, say GlaxoSmithKline marketed Zofran far beyond its approved uses – as a “safe” anti-nausea medication for pregnant women. The FDA has never approved Zofran for this particular use. But now that so many pregnant women are being prescribed the drug, medical researchers have begun to investigate its potential effects on unborn children. Early results have been troublesome, and studies have now linked Zofran exposure to increased risks for cleft palate and several congenital heart defects, including atrial septal defect. Using this evidence, families have started to file birth defect lawsuits, claiming Zofran led to their child being born with severe birth defects.
In September 2015, a mother from Victorville, California filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline, stating that her child was born with a cleft palate and lip because she had used Zofran while pregnant. This litigant had ingested Zofran right through to her second trimester. Read more about this case here.
California: Congenital Child Birth Defect Statistics
The Centers For Disease Control states that 3% of births in the United States are recorded to have birth defects. The causes of such birth defects range greatly from inherited issues to bad drugs used while pregnant. There were an estimated 548,700 births in the entire state of California, which would result in 16,461 births being some form of birth defect.
The population of California as of the last census was 37,253,956. Here are the populations of the five largest cities in the state:
- Los Angeles – population 3,792,621
- San Diego – population 1,307,402
- San Jose – population 945,942
- San Francisco – 805,235
- Fresno – 494,665
As mentioned above, Zofran came onto the US market in 1991. It immediately came to be one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. In fact, by 2005, it is believed that Zofran captured 99% of the market. Our Zofran advocates have prepped estimates on the potential number of births where Zofran may have contributed to the birth defect suffered using probabilities identified in the epidemiological studies, population information, and birth defect rates as they pertain to cleft and congenital heart defects.
We estimate that there may be 17,500 births since 1991 where Zofran may have contributed to heart defects or orofacial clefts in the entire state of California.
Approximated Cleft Palate & Congenital Heart Abnormalities Figures In California
From the approximated figure of 17,500 sum of possible birth abnormalities, we have approximated that 3,500 are some version of cleft palate and 14,500 are congenital heart abnormalities. Using the figures of California’s five largest cities we approximated each city’s defects as follows:
- Los Angeles – approximated added up birth abnormalities: 1,800 | approximated cleft palate: 400 | approximated congenital heart abnormalities: 1400
- San Diego – approximated added up birth abnormalities: 650 | approximated cleft palate: 150 | approximated congenital heart abnormalities: 500
- San Jose – approximated added up birth abnormalities: 450 | approximated cleft palate: 100 | approximated congenital heart abnormalities: 350
- San Francisco – approximated added up birth abnormalities: 375 | approximated cleft palate: 75 | approximated congenital heart abnormalities: 300
- Fresno – approximated added up birth abnormalities: 250 | approximated cleft palate: 50 | approximated congenital heart abnormalities: 200
Detailed Negative Effects Of Using Zofran
As of March 2015, four complaints have been filed, two of which are filed in the state of California. The complaints allege that the plaintiffs took Zofran during the first trimester as prescribed by their doctors for morning sickness. They allege having received no warnings about the dangers of Zofran at the time of taking the drug. All delivered babies with severe child birth defects. Here is a list of the side effects / birth defects that are alleged to have been caused by Zofran:
- bicuspid aortic stenosis
- supraventricular tachycardia
- congenital heart defects
- facial dysmorphia
- low set ears
- kidney malformations
- cleft palate
- cleft lip
A lawsuit has already been filed in Montana where a child was born with a cleft palate and the parents allege that Zofran being used in the early months of pregnancy led to this defect occurring. This is in line with the findings of an epidemiological study that was released by the CDC and Sloan Epidemiology which associated a 2.37 times increase in the risk of a child being born with a cleft palate, where the mother used Zofran in the first trimester.
To read more about the lawsuits, click here.
How Do I Determine If I Have Zofran Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one was prescribed Zofran for morning sickness, and took it during the first trimester of your pregnancy, and subsequently you delivered your child that was diagnosed with one of the above mentioned birth defects, then you may have a right to a settlement. Our Zofran birth defect lawyers are available to discuss your case specifics 24/7. We are experienced at handling these claims. Meet our Zofran litigation team here. We offer free consultations, and you will not pay anything until we win.
If you are unsure whether your birth defect has had an association with Zofran, please call us. We are investigating several defects and may be able to provide you some helpful information.
About Our California Zofran Lawyers
One of our ZofranLegal.com team members, Ms. Elizabeth Graham is licensed to practice law in the state of California and has already filed one of the first Zofran lawsuits in the Superior Courts for the State of California. To speak with with a California lawyer regarding your Zofran child birth defect lawsuit, call us. For more information about Ms. Graham, click here.
Child Birth Defect Resources In California
Our lawyers have put together a list of resources they believe will be helpful to parents who reside in California and need support.