Zofran and Birth Defects

Attorneys Helping Jackson Residents Harmed by Dangerous Drugs

Despite laws requiring that pharmaceutical manufacturers ensure the safety of their products, many Mississippi residents suffer injuries from dangerous prescription drugs. At Coxwell & Associates, our Jackson lawyers can assist people harmed by Zofran and other defective drugs. We have over 30 years of experience representing consumers in product liability claims seeking compensation for their injuries.

Zofran May Cause Serious Birth Defects with Lifelong Consequences

Zofran, or ondanestron, is a drug most commonly prescribed for nausea and vomiting. In some situations, doctors also advise that pregnant women use it if they are experiencing symptoms of morning sickness. However, researchers have identified links between Zofran use during the first trimester of pregnancy and serious birth defects, including cleft palate and congenital heart defects like supraventricular tachycardia. Some of these birth defects may require lifelong medical care. There may be other associated problems with the use of Zofran during pregnancy, and medical research continues to confirm links. Zofran lawsuits brought by injured victims and their families are currently pending.

Holding a Pharmaceutical Company Liable for Damages

Mississippi product liability law is designed to safeguard the rights of consumers who have been harmed by dangerous drugs. All pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to ensure the safety of their products. If a patient suffers from a defective or dangerous prescription drug, he or she can file a product liability lawsuit against the company that made it. Through this lawsuit, the patient would try to seek compensation for any harm that resulted.

In a dangerous drug lawsuit, a plaintiff typically alleges that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings of the product’s side effects. There are four elements to this claim under Mississippi law. First, it is important to show that the drug was defective because it did not include adequate warnings. The absence of warnings must have made it unreasonably dangerous, and the consumer must have been hurt as a direct result. Also, the defendant must have either known or had reason to know about the risk of harm and the likelihood that consumers would not be able to recognize it.

By presenting evidence that Zofran caused a serious birth defect and proving that the defendant did not warn of this side effect, the first two elements of the failure to warn claim likely would be satisfied. Causation, the next element, could be shown through use of medical records and the testimony of expert witnesses like doctors. Then, the plaintiff would try to prove that based on reasonably available information, the defendant manufacturer should have known of the serious side effects, and consumers could not have discovered them on their own.

In a product liability lawsuit, compensatory damages are intended to replace what the victim lost. Punitive damages, in contrast, punish the defendant and are intended to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. In a dangerous drug lawsuit, a jury typically awards noneconomic and economic compensatory damages after the plaintiff shows evidence of each type of harm. Noneconomic damages, which are associated with injuries such as pain and suffering or emotional distress, may be available not only for the child but also the parent in birth injury cases. Economic damages may include medical bills, the costs of future treatment, lost earning capacity, and other reimbursable expenses.

Punitive damages may also be available to a plaintiff in a dangerous drug lawsuit, but they require showing gross negligence by the defendant manufacturer. Under Mississippi law (Miss. Code Ann. § 11-1-65), the plaintiff must show this by clear and convincing evidence. This is a higher standard than the preponderance of the evidence, the standard required for the other elements of a plaintiff’s case. Mississippi law limits the amount of punitive damages according to the defendant’s net worth.

Discuss Your Product Liability Claim with a Jackson Lawyer

The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates are committed to holding drug manufacturers accountable when they violate Mississippi law by selling their pharmaceuticals without adequate warnings. Jackson residents who are considering product liability claims can consult the attorneys at Coxwell & Associates for assistance in exploring their options. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the use of Zofran, call 1-(877) 231-1600 or visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation. We have assisted injured individuals across the state of Mississippi.

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