A Colorado woman’s Zofran lawsuit has been dismissed with prejudice, records from the US District Court of Massachusetts show.
More than 200 lawsuits, all claiming GlaxoSmithKline’s powerful nausea drug causes birth defects, have now been consolidated in Boston. One was filed by a mother from Denver, but unlike the vast majority of plaintiffs, she listed two defendants in her complaint.
Complex Zofran, Malpractice Case Ends In Dismissal
Alongside GlaxoSmithKline, the mother named a pediatric cardiologist, practicing out of Aurora, Colorado, who she said failed to treat her daughter’s congenital heart defects appropriately. Most Zofran lawsuits have been filed in relation to heart defects, like atrial septal defect, although a smaller portion name cleft palate. Multiple studies have found an increased risk for major birth defects among women prescribed Zofran during early pregnancy.
The mother from Colorado initially filed her lawsuit (PDF) in Denver District Court on August 14, 2015, under the case number 1:16-cv-10060-FDS. It was removed, on GlaxoSmithKline’s request, to a federal court in Denver and ultimately transferred to the US District Court for Massachusetts on January 14, 2016. Bearing the new case number 1:15-cv-02811, the lawsuit joined over 200 others in Boston, but it wouldn’t stay there long.
Court documents obtained by Monheit Law, and made public on Zofran.Monheit.com, show that the mother, GlaxoSmithKline and the cardiologist agreed to “dismiss[…] all claims between Plaintiff and Defendants with prejudice.” Like most “stipulations” of dismissal, the agreement is likely to have been initiated by the mother herself. It remains unclear why she chose to dismiss her own case. The mother is barred from filing another lawsuit for the same cause of action in the future.
The dismissal has no effect on any other Zofran lawsuit, and eligible families remain free to file their own lawsuits for birth defects allegedly caused by the nausea drug.
Newborn Died Due To Doctor’s “Negligence,” Birth Defect, Mother Claimed
In her complaint, the woman claimed she had become pregnant in November 2012 and, suffering from morning sickness, was prescribed Zofran in December. The drug is currently America’s best-selling morning sickness treatment, although it has never been approved for any use during pregnancy.
On July 20, 2013, the plaintiff gave birth to her daughter, named S.M. in the complaint, who was almost immediately diagnosed with a heart murmur. This characteristic “whooshing” sound often accompanies abnormalities that impede blood flow through the heart. Sixteen days later, according to the complaint, the family was referred to a pediatric cardiologist for further evaluation and treatment.
At the cardiologist, S.M.’s diagnosis became more detailed. The child suffered from peripheral pulmonary arteriosis – the arteries in her lungs were abnormally narrow. But the cardiologist, the mother alleged, decided against treatment, instructing them only to return one month later for a follow-up appointment. This was on August 8, 2013. Seven days later, S.M. would die, according to her mother, of “untreated patent forament ovale and patent ductus arteriosus.” The two heart abnormalities were caused by prenatal Zofran exposure, the mother claimed, and missed in the cardiologist’s diagnosis.