Alabama mom files Zoloft lawsuit over child’s birth defects

An Alabama mother has filed a suit against both Pfizer, the makers of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Zoloft, and Greenstone, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer that makes sertraline, the generic form of Zoloft, in try District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.

Her Alabama Zoloft lawsuit claims that she took Zoloft as prescribed by her doctors and in the dosage recommended by Pfizer while she was pregnant. She further claims that as a result of taking Zoloft while pregnant, her child was born with a cleft palate, congenital birth defects and serious heart issues.

In her Zoloft suit, she alleges that Pfizer knew of studies where mothers exposed to SSRIs late in pregnancy had higher rates of birth defects, specifically cleft palate and septal heart defects ASD and VSD.

Cleft palate is a congenital birth defect that results in a split in the roof of mouth or the lip. This birth defect can cause developmental problems including difficulty with speech, hearing, eating, and breathing as well as dental issues. Cleft palate usually is diagnosed at birth and is treatable through surgery. Depending on the severity of the cleft, multiple surgeries may be required and can be started as early as ten to twelve weeks after birth. Outcomes of treatments and therapies for children with a cleft palate usually is pretty good.

Zoloft heart problems for newborn children are often atrial and ventricular septal defects. There are two types of septal defects. An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole in the wall between the two lower chambers of the heart. If these holes are small, sometimes they will close on their own. However, larger defects may require surgery. Severe septal defects often require surgery within the first few weeks of life in order to close the hole.

The Alabama mom claims general, special and statutory money damages from defendants Pfizer and Greenstone for her child’s personal injuries and disfigurement.

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