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Cobalt Chromium Toxicity

Zofran Lawsuit Status

Currently, only a few Zofran birth defect cases are filed throughout the country.  However, as the public begins to learn  more about Zofran and its possible link to birth defects, we expect this will quickly change.   Given the number of pregnant women who took Zofran throughout the early 2000s, we expect there will be several thousand individual Zofran lawsuits filed throughout the country by the end of 2015 .

In cases where a single drug injured hundreds or thousands of individuals, the judicial system deals with these cases in a unique way.  Instead of allowing the cases to proceed in hundreds of different courts around the country, they are typically “consolidated.”  This means all of the cases are transferred and merged under a single judge so they can be efficiently managed and coordinated.  Within the next few months, we expect a petition will be filed to consolidate all of the Zofran cases filed around the country.

It is important to understand cases such as this (where there are thousands of individual plaintiffs) are not class actions.  A class action is where one individual files a single lawsuit on behalf of many similarly situated individuals.  However, in similar cases, a class action is not feasible since the individual circumstances of each plaintiff are drastically different.  Therefore, each plaintiff must file their own individual lawsuit.

At some point, after the cases are consolidated, the presiding judge will typically appoint a group of plaintiff’s lawyers to be in charge of the litigation for the plaintiffs.  This group of lawyers is often called the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (or PSC).  The PSC pools its resources, conducts discovery, and hires experts that can testify in any given case. The primary goal of the PSC is litigating the case to the point where any plaintiff’s attorney in the country will have the evidence and expert testimony needed to try a case to a jury.

As the litigation progresses, the next step in the process will be the selection of “bellwether” trials.  The idea is that after several representative cases are tried to a jury, the parties should be able to settle the remaining cases in a “global” settlement.  For this reason, the bellwether cases are considered the most important in the litigation because they often set the “value” of the remaining cases.  In most cases, global settlements are reached either shortly before or after the first bellwether cases go to trial.

In very similar cases, it is important to be patient.  Normally, the typical time between the commencement of litigation and a global settlement is approximately 2 to 3 years.  However, these time periods can vary widely depending on the judge and courthouse where the cases are consolidated.

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