U.S. District Judge Dennis Saylor issued a memorandum and order on February 5, denying summary judgment motion filed by GlaxoSmithKline to toss all Zofran birth defect lawsuits and allowed a group of cases to prepare for early bellwether trials.
GSK argued that the plaintiffs' failure-to-warn claims were preempted by federal law; however, Judge Saylor disagreed with the argument and indicated there was no clear evidence that GSK was prevented from updating Zofran's label warnings for birth defects. On the same day, Judge Saylor also issued a scheduling order for case-specific discovery, Daubert motions, and dispositive motions, affirming that the litigation is moving forward for a series of bellwether trials. The pretrial schedule stated that depositions including all case-specific experts must be concluded by May 24, 2019, and motions to exclude or restrict case-specific expert testimony or opinions, and case-specific dispositive motions must be filed by June 21.
More than 468 lawsuits have been filed against GSK alleging that the company knew about Zofran's pregnancy risks for several years, yet failed to adequately warn the medical fraternity. Zofran lawsuits were centralized in October 2015, before Judge Dennis F. Saylor as a part of multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2657; In Re: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation) in the District of Massachusetts.