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California Parents Sue GlaxoSmithKline Over Child’s Birth Injuries, Warn Others of Taking Zofran While Pregnant

An Alameda County, California couple filed a Zofran lawsuit this month against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the makers of the medication, after their daughter was born with severe birth defects. The parents are also warning pregnant women to think twice before taking Zofran.

Katherine and Matthew Murray had a baby girl in 2007 who was born with severe heart malformations. Katherine was prescribed Zofran for morning sickness during her pregnancy, and indicates that she feels it’s what caused her daughter’s birth defects. Consequently, she is holding GSK responsible for not providing information on the risks involved in taking the medication while pregnant. In fact, she recently indicated that she had excellent medical care during her pregnancy, and that if not for taking Zofran, she feels that her daughter wouldn’t be living with the medical issues she has.

“We are deeply grateful for the excellent medical care our daughter has received. But it has been a long struggle to address damage to her heart that we believe was caused by Zofran. We hope our lawsuit helps raise the awareness of the dangers of the drug.”

After the couple’s daughter was born with severe heart defects, she was required to undergo numerous invasive treatments, including surgery at the age of four. According to complaint and the plaintiffs’ attorney, none of the treatments would have been needed and the young girl would be completely healthy today had GSK had performed the necessary studies and disclosed the results, which would have shown the risks associated with taking Zofran while pregnant. According to the family’s Zofran lawyer,

“Despite having received hundreds of reports of birth defects associated with Zofran and continuing strong sales to pregnant women, GSK has not performed any clinical studies on the safety or efficacy of Zofran for treating morning sickness. Moreover, GSK has not updated Zofran’s labeling to warn mothers and physicians that epidemiology studies report an increased risk of birth defects in infants exposed to Zofran during pregnancy. Recent studies report that a mother exposed to Zofran had more than a doubled risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect as compared to a mother who did not ingest Zofran during pregnancy.”

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for negligence, breach of warranty, misrepresentation of the medication, violations of California law, and concealment. So far there’s no indication how much in damages they are seeking.

This case marks just one of over dozens of cases filed against GSK after women gave birth to babies born with birth defects. In each other case, all of the women have stated that they were never once told that Zofran may result birth defects, or otherwise they would have never taken the medication.

This isn’t the first time GSK has been in hot water over misrepresenting its medications. In 2012, the company reached a $3 billion settlement with the United States Government after falsely representing several of its antidepressant medications.

If your baby was injured and you took Zofran while pregnant, keep in mind that you have the legal right to file for damages against the responsible party. You may be titled to substantial compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages, and more.