On July 11, 2012, nineteen Zoloft lawsuits were filed in Wayne County, WV against Pfizer, Inc., Greenstone LLC, its generic drug subsidiary, and Roering, a division of the pharmaceutical giant. The suits claim that mothers’ use of the SSRI antidepressant drug during pregnancy caused their babies to be born with various birth defects.
All of the mothers who filed suits were prescribed Zoloft while they were pregnant and gave birth to infants with serious congenital malformations. The lawsuits seek damages for various birth defects; holes in the heart called septal heart defects (ASD and VSD), persistent pulmonary hypertenstion of the newborn (PPHN), neural tube defects like spina bifida, skull defects such as craniosynostosis, and other serious health problems. Many of the children suffered conditions requiring surgery and lifelong continuing medical care and treatment.
Like other suits filed in state courts across the country, the West Virginia cases allege that the defendant drug companies knew or should have known of Zoloft birth defects risks, but failed to warn doctors and patients of the drug’s dangers. They also make product liability claims that the medication is defective as marketed and sold. The lawsuits seek both compensatory and punitive damages.
Zoloft was first approved by the FDA in 1991 to treat depression. It later gained FDA approval for the treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD. It quickly because one of the most popular prescription medications in the United States.
In 2005, a FDA Safety Alert for Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressant medications was issued. The drug alert was based on two studies that showed babies born to women who took Zoloft during the 1st trimester of pregnancy were 100%-150% more likely to suffer ASD or VSD heart defects than babies born to mothers who didn’t take a SSRI antidepressant while pregnant.
In 2006, a FDA Pubic Health Advisory was issued after a study was published linking the use during pregnancy of Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants to an increased risk of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). The study showed that babies born to women who took an SSRI in the second half and 3rd trimester of pregnancy were 600% more likely to suffer PPHN at birth than babies born of a pregnancy in which no SSRI drug was taken.
The growing scientific evidence demonstrating a the link between use of Zoloft during and birth defects has led to lawsuits against the manufacturer being filed across the U.S.. Zoloft lawsuits seek compensation for personal injury and wrongful death damages caused by the SSRI antidepressant drug.
In April 2012, Zoloft lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country were consolidated into a Zoloft MDL by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Cynthia M. Rufe is the judge assigned to preside over the coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings of the Zoloft MDL. “Bad drug” lawsuits similar to the 19 filed in West Virginia continue to be filed in state courts throughout the United States.
Do I have a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit?
If your child was born with a birth defect after Zoloft use during pregnancy, you should speak with a lawyer right away. Our experienced attorneys would like to talk with you about your legal rights, options and potential claim to a Zoloft settlement. You may have a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit. Our birth injury lawyers help children and families affected by Zoloft birth defects recover personal injury and wrongful death damages.
Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation. Submit the Zoloft attorney contact request form on this page or call us toll-free. 800-845-6913