Twenty–five plaintiffs won a remand Order transferring their Missouri Zoloft lawsuit back to state court after their Missouri claims were removed to federal court at the request of Zoloft drug maker, Pfizer, Inc. Pfizer sought to have the lawsuit consolidated with hundreds of other Zoloft birth defects lawsuits in the national Zoloft MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA, Hon. Cynthia Rufe presiding. The plaintiffs argued that their lawsuit should be heard by a state court because it lacks diversity jurisdiction, Pfizer’s alleged basis for removal.
Judge Rufe ruled that Missouri courts properly have jurisdiction over the claims. Missouri law allows multiple plaintiffs to file one lawsuit together even though they may have separate injuries. Pfizer argued that a defendant was fraudulently joined by the Plaintiffs to destroy diversity jurisdiction and thereby keep the case out of federal court. The Judge ruled against Pfizer on that claim and remanded the cases back to Missouri.
The Missouri Zoloft lawsuit claims that the mothers’ use of Zoloft in pregnacy caused their children to be born with various birth defects, including club foot, cleft palate, heart defects, omphalocele, and more. The lawsuit claims that Pfizer knew Zoloft would cross the border in the placenta and should have warned physicians and patients about Zoloft birth defects risks.