An Indiana mother has filed suit in Pennsylvania against drug maker Pfizer over claims that her use of its SSRI anti-depressant drug Zoloft during pregnancy caused her son to be born with Supraventriclar Tachycardia, a serious heart defect. The infant was required to undergo treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for two weeks after his birth in Indianapolis, IN on February 21, 2008, and now requires annual EKG examinations and regular monitoring of his heart rate and activity levels. The boy eventually will surgery to repair the heart defect.
The case was filed in the Zoloft multidistrict litigation (MDL) assigned to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Judge Cynthia M. Rufe, presiding. The Zoloft MDL was formed on April 17, 2012 by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to coordinate federal Zoloft litigation filed in multiple districts, eliminate the potential for conflicting pretrial rulings by different courts, and promote judicial efficiency.
Zoloft is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). It’s generic equivalent is sertraline. Pfizer promotes Zoloft as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder PTSD), and social anxiety disorder. The lawsuit claims that before Pfizer began selling Zoloft to the public in 1992, animal testing revealed that taking Zoloft during pregnancy caused birth defects, particularly heart defects and fetal death. The suit alleges that Pfizer, despite the risks, encouraged doctors to prescribe Zoloft to women of child-bearing age, women trying to become pregnant, and to pregnant women. By 2005, Zoloft was the most prescribed anti-depressant with over 27 million prescriptions filled and $3.3 billion in sales.
The complaint alleges that instead of warning pregnant women and women of childbearing age that they should not take Zoloft, Pfizer continues to target these women as their primary market. The lawsuit claims that despite its longstanding knowledge of the danger of birth defects, Pfizer failed to warn and disclose to consumers that Zoloft significantly increases the risk of heart malformations and other birth defects. It alleges that Pfizer concealed Zoloft risks and dangers.
As a result of Pfizer’s failure to warn doctors and patients of Zoloft risks, the Indiana mother claims that she took Zoloft during pregnancy and it caused her son’s birth defects. The lawsuit contains counts for breach of warranty, negligence, strict product liability, fraud, negligence per se, and unjust enrichment.
The mother demands judgment against Pfizer for both compensatory and punitive damages, together with interest, costs of suit, attorneys’ fee, and other relief as the Court deems proper under the circumstances.
A jury trial has been demanded. The first trial in the Zoloft MDL has been set for September 2014.
Zoloft Lawsuit Information
If you or a loved one took Zoloft during pregnancy and your child was born with a heart defect, you may be entitled financial compensation.
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