Latest Zofran Child Birth Defect Lawsuits
22 October 2015

Two Monheit Law Clients File Zofran Lawsuits

Along with the other lawyers at, the attorneys of Monheit Law have played an instrumental role in the ongoing Zofran litigation. Lead sponsor Michael Monheit, Esq. currently represents multiple families who have filed birth defect claims against GlaxoSmithKline.

But the number of lawsuits continues to grow, and Monheit Law continues to play its part in the search for justice. Two recent complaints highlight Monheit’s commitment to the families behind Zofran lawsuits, whose stories often remain untold.

Zofran And Cleft Palate: Two More Families Say Drug Caused Birth Defects

In California, a mother and her son await with trepidation surgeries yet to come. Costly appointments with a speech therapist are expected. In Idaho, another family is waiting, too, a possible rhinoplasty on the horizon.

While more than 900 miles separate these families, they are united, bound together by a drug, its alleged effects and the fact that they have taken the first step toward a brighter future.

Mothers Turn To Monheit Law For Support

Both women say they were prescribed Zofran, a drug that was never approved for use during pregnancy, as a morning sickness treatment. Neither they nor their physicians were aware that multiple studies have linked the pill’s active ingredient to a host of major birth defects. In fact, they claim the association was concealed from the public by Zofran’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline.

But now that the press has widely publicized Zofran’s link to birth defects, both mothers swear they would have turned the prescription down, if only they had been allowed to know. They took Zofran during the first trimester of pregnancy, and gave birth to children with orofacial defects.

Now, the families have turned to Monheit Law, the firm guiding them through the inevitable anxieties of filing a lawsuit. Empathizing with parents hasn’t been difficult for Michael Monheit; he is the father of a child with pervasive developmental delays himself, and a board member at the Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles.

Two Boys Brave Early Surgeries For Orofacial Clefts

Z.E. and J.S.; two young boys facing a very similar struggle.

Delivered in 2007, Z.E. was born with a cleft alveolus, as well as ear defects. The cleft, which affects his gum line and the bone beneath, extends upwards to his nose. He’s already undergone multiple surgeries, including a recent bone graft, but his breathing difficulties persist. More procedures loom in Z.E.’s future.

You can learn more about Z.E. and his mother’s allegations against GlaxoSmithKline in their lawsuit. It was filed in the US District Court for the District of Idaho, Southern Division on August 14, 2015:

View Complaint: 1:15-cv-00319-BLW

Two years younger than Z.E., J.S. was born in 2009. Four days would pass before doctors discovered that his palate, the roof of his mouth, was cleft. His first trip to a surgery department, on the other hand, would come only too soon. J.S. underwent a corrective procedure at 9 months. Like Z.E., J.S. is expected to undergo additional surgeries in the coming years. Meanwhile, his mother says the boy “struggles every day due to his condition, including constant choking and speech difficulties for which he will need speech therapy.”

Find more information on J.S. in the lawsuit filed by his mother. The family’s complaint was brought on September 25, 2015 in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

View Complaint: 8:15-cv-01552

Why Scientists Think Zofran And Cleft Palate Are Linked

In their complaints, the mothers note a study published on January 1, 2013.

Medications used to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and the risk of selected birth defects” reviewed more than 10,000 maternal interviews, along with prescription and birth records, in search of an association between “off label” morning sickness treatments and birth defects. In total, the researchers included 75 different nausea drugs in their analysis.

But only three of the medications covered were found to be associated with an increase in the risk of birth defects: proton pump inhibitors, steroids and ondansetron, Zofran’s active ingredient.

Women prescribed Zofran during the first trimester were 2.37 times more likely to have babies with cleft palate.

That study, conducted by public health researchers at Harvard and Boston University, was the first to find an association between the drug and birth defects. But it wasn’t the last. Two later European studies found even higher increases in the risk of heart defects, and both looked at hundreds of thousands of pregnancies. But as Plaintiffs have noted, none of the research has been noted on Zofran’s warning label. They say the company’s made no effort to warn the public about its product’s potential risks. Which leaves expectant parents in the same position as J.S. and Z.E.’s mothers: ignorant of the research and open to risk.

1. We’ve chosen to abbreviate the names of our clients to protect their privacy.

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