The Zoloft MDL in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Hon. Cynthia Rufe presiding, now includes 258 cases. According to a report recently filed by the multi-district coordinator, there also are state court cases pending in Illinois (IL), Missouri (MO), New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA) and West Virginia (WV).
On November 20, 2012, the multi-district coordinator, an attorney on the plaintiffs’ steering committee, sent letters to numerous state court judges who have pending Zoloft cases to provide them with an update of the MDL proceedings and copies of a recent Zoloft MDL discovery order and deposition notices. The letters also conveyed Judge Rufe’s availability to discuss the possibility of coordination between the state courts and federal Zoloft MDL proceeding.
There are fourteen (14) Zoloft cases pending in two multi-party complaints and one individual complaint filed in St. Clair County, Illinois. These include a complaint involving eight (8) families (Wilson, et al. v. Pfizer), another involving five (5) families (Saville, et al. v. Pfizer), and a third involving one family with twins (Ratliff v. Pfizer). The Wilson and Saville cases are pending before St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson; the Ratliff case is pending before Judge Vincent Lopinot.
The report states that the parties in Wilson and Saville, “have exchanged initial discovery responses and protective orders have been entered in both cases.” In addition, Pfizer “has also served written discovery. . . and has moved to stay further discovery pending coordination with the MDL and resolution of its pending motions.” The motions include Pfizer’s Motion to Sever, Motion to Stay Discovery, and Motion to Dismiss on Forum Non Conveniens Grounds. Arguments on the motions were heard in July 2012 and rulings by Judge Gleeson are expected soon. In the Ratliff case, it is reported that the parties also have exchanged initial discovery responses and a hearing on a motion to dismiss has been set for hearing on Jan. 23, 2013.
On July 23, 2012, U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy of the Southern District of Illinois entered an Order granting plaintiff’s motion to remand a case involving thirty-eighty (38) families (Reeves, et al. v. Pfizer) that originally was filed in St. Clair County, IL. Pfizer appealed. The appeal remains pending.
The report states that 43 Zoloft cases are pending in two complaints filed in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. One involves 23 families (Foster, et al. v Pfizer); the other involves 20 families (Lancaster, et al. v. Pfizer). These cases are before Judges Steven Ohner and Bryan Hettenbach, respectively, both of the City of St. Louis Circuit Court, 21st Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri. Discovery is underway.
The report states that there are three (3) Zoloft cases pending in New York. There had been thirteen (13) New York Zoloft cases; five (5) cases were demised on forum non-conveniens grounds and five (5) on motions to dismiss. No pending motions on the remaining cases were reported.
Only one Zoloft case was reported pending in Pennsylvania state court. Discovery was underway and no options were reported pending.
Only one Zoloft case remains pending in West Virginia. A complaint involving nineteen (19) families was filed in the Circuit Court of Wayne County. All but one of the cases were removed to federal court. Pfizer filed a Motion to Dismiss the one remaining case on forum non-conveniens grounds.
Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits
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