Are there any time constraints for pursuing a lawsuit related to Zofran-birth-defects?
Your case might be barred because you do not bring it fast enough. Laws that prohibit cases due to staleness are known as statutes of limitations. The time period contained in these statutes can differ based upon the kind of case it is or the jurisdiction in which it is brought. Generally, if the underlying federal statute is silent courts will look to state court statutes of limitation. Illinois law provides the following in 735 ILCS 5/13-202:
“Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation, except damages resulting from first-degree murder or the commission of a Class X felony and the perpetrator thereof is convicted of such crime, shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued…”
Therefore, you or your loved one will generally have two years for injuries (if that is the claim you are making); however, this time period does not start until you reasonably discover that you have been injured. This rule explains why Zofran cases were permitted well after the mother actually took the drug. Furthermore, Illinois laws provide additional time for minors to file actions and delay when the applicable statute of limitations begins to run when the wrongful party fraudulently conceals their actions as the following statutes demonstrate:
- 735 ILCS 5/13-212(c): “If the person entitled to bring an action described in this Section is, at the time the cause of action accrued, under a legal disability other than being under the age of 18 years, then the period of limitations does not begin to run until the disability is removed.”
- 735 ILCS 5/13-215: “Fraudulent concealment. If a person liable to an action fraudulently conceals the cause of such action from the knowledge of the person entitled thereto, the action may be commenced at any time within 5 years after the person entitled to bring the same discovers that he or she has such cause of action, and not afterwards.”
However, this does not mean you will have infinite time, so you should speak with a lawyer to make sure times does not run out!
For additional information, see the following pages:
- Why were pregnant women prescribed Zofran?
- What types of birth defects in children have been associated with Zofran usage?
- Has the FDA issued any warnings concerning the use of Zofran during pregnancy?