Melissa Hague Appointed to Zofran Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Dec 30, 2015 12:12:37 PM

2569386_1.jpegAnapol Weiss attorney Melissa Hague has been appointed by U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) in In Re: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2657. The Zoran PSC is made up of 14 lawyers from firms all over the country who are experienced in leading mass tort litigation.

The PSC will work tirelessly to protect the rights of those who have filed lawsuits on behalf of children who developed birth defects caused by Zofran, a medication prescribed to pregnant mothers for nausea and vomiting. The PSC has been charged with initiating and conducting all pretrial discovery, responding to and drafting motions, managing and presenting common issues for trial through a bellwether process, and negotiating and proposing reasonable settlement options for the common benefit of all plaintiffs with cases in the MDL. The PSC plans on meeting internally on a regular basis and with opposing counsel to ensure that the litigation moves efficiently and the rights of these victims are zealously pursued.

A Diligent Mass Tort Lawyer

Melissa Hague has dedicated her career to the successful prosecution of complex mass tort cases. She has successfully represented and continues to represent hundreds of people injured by defective metal-on-metal hip implants as well as knee implants. Melissa also had an integral role in the resolution of the In re: Human Tissue Products Liability Litigation involving victims who received infected and improperly screened cadaver bone and tissue.

Zofran Linked to Birth Defects

Some pregnant mothers were prescribed Zofran to stop the effects of morning sickness. However, the drug has been linked to increasing an unborn baby’s risk of developing birth defects including cleft lip and palate as well as certain heart defects.

Topics: Zofran

Six Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Cleft Lip and Palate

Posted by Anapol Weiss on Oct 21, 2015 2:28:00 PM

Parents of newborns diagnosed with cleft palate and/or cleft lip may be overwhelmed by talk of surgery, treatments, and long-term issues. Where do parents start the conversation? 

If your child was born with an oral cleft, below are six important questions to ask your physician.


1. What kinds of issues might my child experience as a result of cleft lip and/or palate?

Depending on the extent of the cleft lip and/or palate, a child may have speech development issues. Some children with a cleft palate might experience reduced hearing, fluid in the ears and ear infections, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your child’s cleft could result in these or other short- and long-term issues.

2. Will my infant need special bottles or feeding methods?

Your physician will discuss how to feed your baby based on his or her individual cleft. For example, a baby with a cleft palate can’t create the suction needed to feed and will require specially designed bottle systems, according to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. On the other hand, an infant with only a cleft lip may be able to feed normally.

3. What kind of surgery will my child need to fix the cleft? When will they happen?

Cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries can be very different, and they occur at different times. The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains that a baby typically undergoes cleft lip repair between six and 12 weeks of age. Cleft palate repair is done between nine months and one year of age. Sometimes, an infant will require more than one surgery to close a cleft palate. A surgeon may also need to perform a procedure called rhinoplasty to repair the tip of the baby’s nose.

Based on your infant’s specific type of cleft, your physician should be able to estimate the type and extent of surgery necessary.

4. How long will it take my child to recover from surgery?

Once you discuss surgery with your doctor, it’s important to go over what your infant’s recovery will be like afterward. There will be important information you’ll need to know about medication, feeding, stitches, mouth care and more.

5. Are there cleft lip and palate organizations and/or support groups?

You physician may have a list of groups your family can join so you can get to know others who have gone through similar situations. If not, the Cleft Palate Foundation offers links to support organizations.

6. What caused my child’s cleft lip and/or palate?

An estimated one in 940 births is affected by cleft lip with or without cleft palate in the U.S., according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Cleft lip and cleft palate occur very early in pregnancy and have been associated with numerous causes including genetics. In addition, taking certain medications such as Topamax® for epilepsy and Zofran® for morning sickness during pregnancy have been linked to the development of clefts.

Although a cleft lip or palate can lead to a stressful situation for families, there are numerous resources to help parents determine the best course of treatment and to provide emotional support.

Anapol Weiss has represented many children whose oral clefts were preventable. Contact our firm if you have questions about investigating the cause of your child’s cleft lip or palate.

Topics: Zofran

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