Here’s a breakdown on where the Zofran litigation is headed. We often tell clients these cases could take years to resolve. Here’s why: For a case to be trial ready, discovery will need to occur and experts will need to be retained. This process can take two to three years even with many of the best law firms in the country working together.
Corporate emails and deposition testimony related to what GSK has known about birth defects will be crucial to all Plaintiffs’ cases. The full extent of what was known will be flushed out in this process. For example, were there emails discussing adverse events related to heart defects cleft lip, cleft palate, club foot, and kidney defects? Did doctors/the FDA suggest GSK perform additional clinical studies involving pregnancy that GSK did not comply with? Was there a discussion that animal studies demonstrated signals of potential birth defects? Etc.
Document discovery will involve the production of millions of company emails. There will be a battle to attain information that GSK claims is privileged or unavailable and refuses to initially produce. These documents will aid in the foundation of Plaintiff’s claim that GSK did not warn victims. Out of the millions of documents that will be produced, we will need to review them in order to find 10-20 best documents to use throughout trial.
The documents will also be used during corporate depositions. Based on similar litigations, I would estimate that at least 20-40 corporate employees of GSK will be questioned under oath. Additionally, expert witnesses (specialists such as pediatric cardiologists, epidemiologists, and regulatory experts) will need to be retained and prepared to testify on aspects of GSK’s irresponsible conduct and the studies showing Zofran increases the risk of birth defects. It is absolutely essential that these experts are prepared so that judges don’t restrict them from testifying, a ban that is often all too common in complex product liability.
Thus, to be ready to put on a winning case, complex drug cases take a couple years of preparation. And we are a firm that plans to be closely involved in this process as we have been other large drug litigations such as Actos and Avandia.