United States Of Zofran: A Map To Birth Defect Lawsuits [Infographic]

Federal judges are currently deciding whether dozens of Zofran lawsuits are similar enough to consolidate in a single court. If they do, they’ll also have to decide where those claims should be transferred, a decision that will likely affect the lives of Plaintiffs for some time. Thus the question of where existing claims have been filed is more important than ever:

Map of Zofran Birth Defect Lawsuits

As we can see, Plaintiffs have suggested courts in the states where the most Zofran lawsuits have been filed. GlaxoSmithKline’s choice, Pennsylvania, currently has only one lawsuit.

Where Zofran Birth Defect Lawsuits Have Been Filed

As of October 1, 2015, at least 58 families have filed Zofran lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline in Federal Courts. Citing the results of several birth defect studies, these parents claim Zofran’s active ingredient has the power to alter fetal development adversely.

The first claim was filed on February 12, 2015 in Minnesota. In their complaint, a couple said that prenatal exposure to Zofran caused both of their daughters to develop congenital heart conditions. The family accused GlaxoSmithKline of unlawfully promoting an unsafe product as an effective morning sickness treatment. To this day, Zofran is not approved for use during pregnancy.

Dozens of lawsuits followed suit, drawing on major studies that linked Zofran to an increased risk for heart defects and cleft palate. Here’s a breakdown of Zofran lawsuits by state:

  • Alabama – 9 lawsuits
  • Arkansas – 1 lawsuit
  • California – 11 lawsuits
  • Delaware – 1 lawsuit
  • Florida – 1 lawsuit
  • Idaho – 1 lawsuit
  • Illinois – 3 lawsuits
  • Kentucky – 2 lawsuits
  • Louisiana – 5 lawsuits
  • Massachusetts – 5 lawsuits
  • Mississippi – 2 lawsuits
  • Missouri – 1 lawsuit
  • Montana – 1 lawsuit
  • New Jersey – 2 lawsuits
  • New York – 1 lawsuit
  • North Dakota – 1 lawsuit
  • Ohio – 5 lawsuits
  • Oregon – 2 lawsuits
  • Pennsylvania – 1 lawsuit
  • Tennessee – 1 lawsuit
  • Texas – 2 lawsuits

But while the earliest research noted an increase in the rate of cleft palate, far more lawsuits have been brought on behalf of children with heart defects:

heart Defect and cleft palate zofran lawsuits map

Here are the state numbers by type of defect:

Heart Defect Lawsuits

  • Alabama – 8 lawsuits
  • California – 8 lawsuits
  • Delaware – 1 lawsuit
  • Florida – 1 lawsuit
  • Illinois – 3 lawsuits
  • Kentucky – 2 lawsuits
  • Louisiana – 2 lawsuits
  • Massachusetts – 3 lawsuits
  • Mississippi – 1 lawsuit
  • Missouri – 1 lawsuit
  • New Jersey – 1 lawsuit
  • New York – 1 lawsuit
  • Ohio – 3 lawsuits
  • Oregon – 2 lawsuits
  • Pennsylvania – 1 lawsuit
  • Tennessee – 1 lawsuit
  • Texas – 1 lawsuit

Cleft Palate Lawsuits

  • Alabama – 1 lawsuit
  • Arkansas – 1 lawsuit
  • California – 2 lawsuits
  • Idaho – 1 lawsuit
  • Louisiana – 2 lawsuits
  • Massachusetts – 1 lawsuit
  • Mississippi – 1 lawsuit
  • Montana – 1 lawsuit
  • Ohio – 1 lawsuit

Claims in California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas have also been filed in relation to kidney and abdominal defects.

For now, Plaintiffs and their attorneys can only wait for the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation to return a decision. If the lawsuits are consolidated, they’ll be transferred to one Federal Court where pretrial proceedings will be conducted in common. And while the Panel’s decision will certainly determine the Zofran litigation’s future, it will in no way restrict other families from filing claims of their own.