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Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.

Chicago IL birth injury lawyersExpecting parents often imagine what it will be like to hold their baby for the first time, ponder what their first words will be, and may even envision the adult their child will eventually become. Sadly, some parents never see their hopes and dreams come to fruition. All that they had hoped for is taken away by a physician who made a horrible, permanent, irreversible, and preventable mistake. The injuries sustained by infants during these incidents are known as birth injuries.

Rate of Birth Injuries in the United States

Out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States, six to eight sustain an injury during birth. To put that into perspective, nearly four million babies are born in the U.S. each year. Of those, 24,000 to 28,000 sustain a birth injury. That is more than 2,000 infants per month, or approximately three each hour. So, while at first glance, the rate may seem inconsequential (just two percent of all births), the numbers show that an alarming number of parents must face heartbreak on what should be the happiest day of their lives.

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For most parents, the birth of a new child is a joyous event, one full of promise and a long and happy future. Sadly, there are far too many other parents that go through a very different sort of experience. They are thrust into tragedy, or onto a path that they could never have anticipated or planned for. Sometimes, these experiences are the result of an unpreventable tragedy; other times, they are the result of a birth injury caused by a negligent healthcare provider. In both instances, the future can become one that appears bleak, blurry, or even frightening.

For Ted and Jennifer Hill, the future became a place of uncertainty after the delivery of their son, Ryan. Born with permanent brain damage, Ryan would need lifelong care. His parents faced concerns over how his needs would be met after they were no longer living. But even more concerning was the feeling that Ryan’s injuries could have somehow been prevented. In 2006, they pursued this possibility by filing a lawsuit on behalf of Ryan against the hospital. In late 2008, they were referred by another attorney to Hurley, McKenna & Mertz, P.C.

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Zofran and pregnancy, Chicago product liability lawyerMany pregnant women experience morning sickness during their pregnancies. Some experience nausea so severe they are unable to function. Most of those women may have been prescribed a drug called Zofran to help with their morning sickness. The problem with Zofran is that it is has not been labeled for use in pregnant women. It is supposed to be used for cancer patients. So why is GlaxoSmithKline allowing their product to be prescribed to women who are pregnant if they have not tested the effects of Zofran on pregnant women? It is medical malpractice to allow their defective drug to continue to be prescribed for uses it is not approved for.

Separate studies have shown a possible link to the use of Zofran in pregnant women in their first trimester and birth defects in their children. Multiple lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline stated Zofran caused birth defects or wrongful deaths after using the drug, that the company marketed the drug to pregnant women without approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and produced a defective drug. The FDA approved the drug for use in cancer patients during and after treatments and surgeries. It has not been tested for side effects in pregnant women.

This is not the first time Zofran and GlaxoSmithKline have been the subject of a lawsuit for illegal promotion of drugs. The company paid $3 billion as part of the legal settlement in 2012 after federal charges were brought against the company. The company is now being sued by families for specific allegations in relation to the use and misrepresentation of their marketing for Zofran.

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