New York parents have filed suit against Pfizer, the makers of the SSRI antidepressant Zoloft, on claims that the expectant mother’s use of the drug during pregnancy caused her son to suffer birth defects including a severe aortic valve stenosis. The newborn had to undergo a surgical procedure to enlarge his narrow heart valve. While his condition improved after the surgery, his injury is permanent. Throughout the rest of his life he will have to be checked by specialists and is at an increased risk for future heart surgery.
This case currently is separate from the Multidistrict Zoloft Marketing Products Liability Litigation that is consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It was filed in a New York state court. The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer “knew or should have known that Zoloft was linked to serious birth defects, including heart malformation, cranial defects and abdominal defects, and should have fully informed doctors and the public of these risks.”
Zoloft is in a class of medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. Its generic equivalent is sertraline. Pfizer promotes Zoloft as a treatment for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder. It was approved for use in the United States by the FDA in 1992. By 2005, Zoloft was the most prescribed anti-depressant with over 27 million prescriptions filled and $3.3 billion in sales.
The family seeks to recover damages for the medical and other expenses related to the treatment of the minor child’s birth defects, disorders and related illnesses. The petition alleges that “Pfizer concealed, suppressed, downplayed and failed to disclose those [birth defect] dangers.” Further, despite medical research showing a correlation between the drug and birth defects: “Pfizer failed, and continues to fail, to warn that Zoloft increased the likelihood of serious birth defects.”
If you took Zoloft during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may have a right to substantial financial compensation. You should contact an experienced Zoloft litigation attorney right away to discuss your potential Zoloft lawsuit. Time limits apply.