California Zoloft lawsuit removed to federal court in San Francisco

A Zoloft birth defects lawsuit filed in California state court has been removed to the federal court in San Francisco, CA. The case claims that use of the SSRI antidepressant drug Zoloft during pregnancy caused the sutures of an infant’s skull to close early, a condition called craniosynostosis. The infant underwent skull surgery when he was six months old to treat the condition.

Lawyers representing the child and his mother seek personal injury damages against drug company Pfizer, the manufacturer of the antidepressant medication, and McKesson, the San Francisco based distributor of the drug. The attorneys allege that the defendants failed to warn patients that use of Zoloft during pregnancy causes serious side effects, including skull defects such as craniosynostosis.

Pfizer filed a notice of removal to transfer the case from state court in to federal court. The drug company argued that proof of the use of Zoloft in pregnancy was provided by McKeeson. Pfizer’s attorneys argued that the mother failed to name the pharmacy at which she filled her prescription for Zoloft. Lawyers for the drug companies also argued that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that representations from McKesson caused the expecting mother to take Zoloft while she was pregnant.

The court agreed. It ruled that the distributor had been fraudulently joined to destroy diversity jurisdiction and prevent removal. Without McKesson as a party to the lawsuit, diversity jurisdiction exists and the case was removed from the State of California Superior Court of San Francisco County the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.

This is the second time in the past month that California courts have dismissed drug distributor McKesson as a defendant in a Zoloft lawsuit.

It was not said whether the case will be transferred to the Zoloft MDL recently created in the federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidisrict Litigation. Transfer to the MDL is likely.

Zoloft Craniosynostosis Lawsuit

Our lawyers currently are helping families affected by Zoloft craniosynostosis birth defects. If your child was born with a skull defect after you used Zoloft while pregnant, please contact us so one of our experienced attorneys can help you. We are here to listen, provide information, and/or give you options about taking legal action and filing a Zoloft lawsuit.

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