Zofran while Pregnant Lawsuit
A Lawsuit Settlement Over Pregnancy
The Zofran while pregnant lawsuit is a case that involves a plaintiff and her husband. They got married in 2005 and six months into the marriage, they had a son. On the day of their son’s arrival, Zofran suffered a major miscarriage. The result was that she and her husband were forced to come to the United States from their native Moldavian village. They had to wait three months before they could be together again. While in the process of going through a lawsuit settlement process, Zofran developed depression.
A few months after their initial visit to the doctor, Zofran received a call from their attorney informing her that her lawsuit was being settled out of court.
She was devastated. This settlement would have meant that she would never see her newborn again. She tried to call her attorney but could not get any advice or information on the case. There was another attorney who did represent her in a meeting but he too was unsuccessful in assisting her with the lawsuit settlement. He informed her that because of the nature of her injury, the courts were likely to rule in favor of the defendant.
The fact that Zofran was required to wait three months before her birth due to the delay in the birthing process was not relevant to the defendant. Their attorney repeatedly stated to Zofran that their client’s case was likely to be delayed until after the birth of the child. Zofran became very depressed and began to contemplate having a miscarriage. She was very unhappy with the entire situation.
During the third month of her lawsuit, Zofran developed a urinary tract infection.
Her doctor prescribed an antibiotic to treat the infection. This helped but Zofran soon developed a fever and experienced another urinary tract infection. This time, her pain intensified as the infection worsened. Her husband, while driving her to the emergency room of her local hospital, told her that she should not go into the birthing process because it might cause her to miscarry.
When Zofran was able to safely deliver her son, the court found in her favor.
Although the plaintiff’s husband had been involved in the lawsuit settlement process, the court found that the husband had failed to make reasonable and informed decisions regarding his wife’s pregnancy and delivery. In its findings, the court stated that the husband’s negligence was “inextricably connected” to the plaintiff’s pregnancy and delivery. The court awarded Zofran a lawsuit settlement against her husband.
When the plaintiff and her husband had been unable to agree on a settlement, the parties entered into a pre-trial process in which they discussed a long list of issues. Ultimately, in July 2009, the two agreed to a $1 million lawsuit settlement. The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential. Zofran filed for personal bankruptcy in the fall of 2009, which is a common practice in California and is usually a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit settlement. As part of her bankruptcy filing, Zofran was forced to disclose financial information that she considered private and privileged.
Because of Zofran’s statements in both her statements and lawsuit deposition, the California State Bar Association sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.
On appeal, the state Bar Association argued that the birth of a child does not automatically entitle a plaintiff to receive damages due to negligence of others. In addition, the birth of a child does not automatically remove the parents’ liability for wrongful acts or negligent actions committed at the time of the birth.
The trial court found that Zofran had suffered a substantial decline in her standard of living as a result of her husband’s negligence, but held that the injury could be recovered with additional damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of rental income, and future services missed due to the injury.
On appeal, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision, holding that Zofran’s statements regarding her pregnancy, her discharge from a hospital, and the commencement of her lawsuit against her husband were relevant to determining whether she actually became pregnant during the time her negligent actions occurred. Specifically, the appeals court held that the statements about being pregnant when Zofran was in fact pregnant, as well as her statements regarding the exact date of birth of her child, both of which are critical determinants of her eligibility for a lawsuit settlement, are relevant because (a) Zofran knew she was pregnant throughout the time she maintained her lawsuit against her husband, (b) her statements regarding the date of birth of her child are supportive of Zofran’s version of events, and (c) that her attorneys provided corroborating information regarding the dates of her pregnancy and of her conception with her husband, thereby rendering the statements both reliable and consistent with the evidence.