In the most recent lawsuit filed against GlaxoSmithKline, two mothers from Louisiana claim that the company’s potent anti-nausea drug Zofran caused their children to develop congenital heart defects. Filed on June 8, 2015, this is the latest complaint in a litigation that has grown to at least 8 individual personal injury lawsuits. You can find summaries of previous complaints here.
The mothers filed their complaint in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, under case number 6:15-cv-01815-RFD-PJH.
To read the complaint, follow the link below:
Plaintiffs Say Prenatal Exposure To Zofran Led To Severe Heart Birth Defects
The first plaintiff listed in the complaint says that she was prescribed Zofran to alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness during the first trimester of a pregnancy that began in late 2009. Her daughter, named as L.D. in court documents, was born on July 15, 2010.
Shortly after birth, L.D. was diagnosed with three congenital heart defects:
- Ventricular Septal Defect
- Atrial Septal Defect
- Intermittent Tachypnea
Ventricular and atrial septal defects, or “hole in the heart” defects, occur when chambers in the heart are not separated properly by complete barriers. In babies born with severe defects of this nature, congestive heart failure is a distinct possibility. Intermittent tachypnea is an abnormally fast heart beat and a common symptom of congestive heart failure, as plaintiff states in her claim.
Plaintiff claims that her daughter was forced to undergo surgery to repair her ventricular septal defect. She says that she delivered a healthy baby boy after an earlier pregnancy during which she did not take Zofran.
The second plaintiff claims that she began taking Zofran during the first trimester of a pregnancy in 2005. Born on August 9, 2005, her daughter V.P. was soon diagnosed with accelerated ventricular arrhythmia (AVA). This congenital heart defect occurs when the heart’s two lower chambers, or ventricles, beat out of sync with its two upper chambers. AVA is caused by a fault in the system of electrical impulses that trigger heart contractions.
Plaintiff says that this “serious heart defect […] nearly caused V.P. to die shortly after birth.” Her daughter needed “intense and regular medical monitoring and testing” until the age of five, plaintiff claims.
In this new complaint, both plaintiffs allege that Zofran was the proximate cause of the congenital heart defects with which their daughters were born. They seek damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, as well as medical expenses.
Plaintiffs Cite Three Studies Linking Zofran To Congenital Heart Defects
In court documents, plaintiffs note a series of major epidemiological studies that have found an association between prenatal exposure to Zofran and an increased risk for congenital heart defects.
These studies, performed by researchers in Denmark and Sweden, have linked Zofran specifically to cardiac septal defects. This class of abnormalities includes both ventricular septal defect and atrial septal defect, anomalies with which plaintiff’s daughter L.D. was born.
Their results have found that women prescribed Zofran during the first trimester are:
- twice as likely to deliver babies with a cardiac septal defect
- 2.1 times more likely to deliver babies with an atrial septal defect
- 2.3 times more likely to deliver babies with a ventricular septal defect
- 4.8 times more likely to deliver babies with an atrioventricular septal defect
You can learn more about these studies, as well as research that has linked Zofran to cleft palate, by clicking here.
Find More Information On Birth Defects & Zofran Lawsuits
Parents interested in finding more information on the Zofran litigation in Louisiana are encouraged to visit our page dedicated to the state. We’ve provided congenital defect statistics specific to Louisiana, as well as a brief summary of the allegations made in recent Zofran birth defect lawsuits.