An Oklahoma (OK) mother has filed suit against Pfizer, the makers of Zoloft, alleging her ingestion of the SSRI antidepressant drug during her pregnancy caused her son to suffer from birth defects including congenital endocardial cushion defect, a heart murmur (septal defect), congestive heart failure, failure to thrive and a general developmental delay. At three months of age, the infant was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and failure to thrive. He underwent surgery to repair an atrioventricular septal defect (ASD). Even after this surgery, his doctors continued to identify mitral regurgitation. Throughout his life, the infant has been unable to gain sufficient weight and a heart murmur has been identified at each of his doctor’s visits.
This new Zoloft lawsuit joins a growing number of cases filed in the Multidistrict Zoloft Marketing Products Liability Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Judge Cynthia Rufe presiding. The legal complaint filed in the case alleges that Pfizer negligently and intentionally designed, manufactured, distributed and sold Zoloft without safeguards and warnings that the drug should not be taken during pregnancy due to risks of serious teratogenic effects. It further claims that Pfizer failed to test Zoloft’s effects on pregnant women or their unborn children, even going so far as encouraging doctors to prescribe the drug to women of childbearing age, women who were trying to become pregnant, and women who already were pregnant.
Zoloft is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). Its 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. Zoloft was approved by the FDA in 1992 for use in the United States. By 2005, it was the most prescribed anti-depressant with over 27 million prescriptions filled and $3.3 billion in sales.
“Had Pfizer engaged in appropriate pharmacovigilance, they would have been aware of the numerous cases of birth defects caused by Zoloft prior to the time Plaintiff was prescribe Zoloft,” the complaint alleges. The Oklahoma (OK) mother accuses Pfizer of concealing the risks and overstating the benefits of the antidepressant. The lawsuit includes counts seeking damages for claims of strict product liability, breach of implied warranty, negligence, negligence per se, malicious conduct, unjust enrichment, fraud, misrepresentation and concealment. The mother seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as treble damages, disgorgement of profits, costs, attorneys’ fees and other court relief.
If you took Zoloft during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may have a right to substantial financial compensation and should contact an experienced Zoloft litigation attorney. Time limits apply. Act now.