On September 6, 2013, Missouri parents filed a lawsuit against Pfizer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis, MO. The suit claims that Zoloft, the SSRI antidepressant drug manufactured by Pfizer, caused their child to be born with several birth defects. The mother took Zoloft during pregnancy. The child was born in 2005 with heart defects including transposition of the great arteries. This condition occurs when the main arteries going out of the heart are switched (transposed). The result is that there is too little oxygen in the blood that is pumped out to the body.
The lawsuit claims that Pfizer, through its literature, failed to disclose the safety risks linked to the use of Zoloft by pregnant women. The popular SSRI antidepressant was marketed as the superior treatment for depression during pregnancy. The mother’s doctor relied on Pfizer’s marketing material and prescribed Zoloft during her pregnancy. At the time, she was unaware that the drug could cause the types of birth defects suffered by her daughter.
The couple alleges that Pfizer had extensive knowledge of the extreme risks associated with using Zoloft during pregnancy. They state that the drug manufacture had an absolute duty to “properly and adequately warn foreseeable users.” Finally they claim that Pfizer never approached the FDA to change the warning labels to indicate all possible side effects.
The suit claims damages on counts of negligence and fraud in the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of Zoloft. The couple seeks compensation for themselves and their daughter.