Texas mom files Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, claims brain damage

A Texas woman filed a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit on February 18, 2014 against Pfizer, the manufacturer of the SSRI antidepressant drug. The suit claims that the woman took Zoloft during pregnancy and shortly after her child’s birth in 2005, the newborn was diagnosed with several birth defects including encephalopathy (brain damage) and auditory neuropathy (hearing loss). While both conditions can be mild to severe, the nature and extent of the child’s disabilities were not disclosed. The child is, however, expected to require cochlear implants or hearing aids to combat the incurable neuropathy.

The recently filed Zoloft lawsuit claims that Pfizer knew or should have known of the birth defects risks caused by Zoloft when taken by pregnant women. The suit contents that Pfizer knew that the drug crosses the placenta and is linked to serious birth defects, yet failed to warn doctors and consumers of the potential harm.

The suit alleges that Pfizer “negligently, intentionally and fraudulently misled the medical community, physicians, the mother plaintiff’s physician, and plaintiff about risks to a fetus.” The lawsuit asserts that the Zoloft warning label and package insert information are misleading and incomplete.

The case has been tranferred to the Zoloft Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. The Honorable Judge Cynthia M. Rufe is presiding over the Zoloft MDL.

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