The majority of dangerous prescription medication lawsuits end in settlements. Although Zofran (also known as ondansetron or Zuplenz) cases are still relatively new, it’s important to understand why people are filing these types of cases and what a settlement may potentially mean for you.
Risks of Zofran
Dr. Gideon Koren, a Canadian pediatrician, has researched the risks of ondansetron thoroughly, particularly birth defects. One of the factors that greatly concerns Koren is that not only is there a great risk of infants developing severe birth defects associated with Zofran, but also that GlaxoSmithKline seems to keep pushing the medication on pregnant women.
In addition, Koren thinks that many doctors hope that the medicine is the last chance for pregnant women experiencing nausea and vomiting, which sometimes overrides the risk of birth defects.
“Here is a drug not meant for pregnancy, given in pregnancy, with no data. So how do you know it’s safe for a baby? It’s an extrapolation that doctors do. They think it’s the last chance for your patient. They think that there’s an edge for that drug compared to other drugs.”
In turn, millions of pregnant women in both the United States and Canada have been prescribed Zofran, many of which later had babies who were born with serious birth defects. Consequently, more and more lawsuits are surfacing against GlaxoSmithKline.
What is a Zofran Settlement?
When someone files a lawsuit against a negligent drug manufacturer, the case will either go to trial or end in a settlement. Most medication lawsuits usually end in settlements after overwhelming evidences indicates the defendant’s’ negligence.
A settlement differs from a trial in that the defendant usually agrees to a compensation amount for the plaintiff before the lawsuit actually goes to trial. There are currently several ondansetron lawsuits pending that were filed in 2015. Whether cases result in settlements has yet to be determined, but statistics indicate that the more people that file the same type of lawsuits, the better the chance of the defendant settling out of court.
Is a Settlement Better Than Going to Trial?
There are numerous benefits to a settlement when compared to taking your lawsuit to trial, including the following:
- The personal details surrounding your case are usually kept private
- Attorney fees and expenses are typically reduced
- The chances of compensation are certain, whereas a trial and a jury verdict is uncertain
- Settlement times are generally much shorter than the time it takes to go through a trial
- The stress of a trial is something most people would rather avoid; settlement are generally less stressful
However, there are also a few downsides to settlements, especially if a case is against a negligent drug manufacturer. Holding a company publically responsible for actions that greatly affected others will shed light on illegal business practices as well encourage people who are going through similar situations to seek damages as well. A trial will ensure that the drug company cannot settle privately.
How is a Settlement Decided?
Ultimately, it’s up to you as the plaintiff to decide whether you want to settle your Zofran lawsuit. However, your attorney will first determine if settling is in your best interest and if the offer is high enough.
Keep in mind that you should never feel pressured to settle your lawsuit, and an experienced attorney will ensure that you completely understand the details of the settlement and that you are comfortable with it before agreeing to it.
How Much Money Can I Receive?
It’s important to note that Zofran lawsuits are still considered relatively new, and although GlaxoSmithKline settled a $3 million lawsuit in 2012 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is not enough information yet to give the average settlement amount for these types of cases.
In general, however, the average settlement amount for other dangerous medication lawsuits is anywhere between thousands to millions. Many factors go into a settlement amount, including:
- The severity of the birth defects
- Medical costs and expenses (past, present, and future)
- Amount of lost wages and/or caregiver expenses
It’s important to retain legal services from an experienced attorney who specifically specializes in dangerous prescription medication lawsuits. For more information, refer to our article Zofran Lawyer.