March 13, 2012 – The number of Zoloft (sertraline) birth defects lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country continues to grow, increasing the likelihood that a panel of judges set to convene later this month will consolidate the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for pretrial proceedings. So far this year, more than a dozen new Zoloft birth defects lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer in at least eight different U.S. District Courts. In recent years, the maternal use of Zoloft during pregnancy has been associated with a high number of congenital abnormalities including persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), spina bifida, heart and lung defects, cranial abnormalities, and other serious malformations.
Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit Update 7/31/12: In what appears to be the latest in a string of similar complaints, a New York couple has filed a products liability lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer because their child was born with congenital heart defects after the mother took Zoloft (generic: sertraline) while pregnant. At least 137 other Zoloft birth defect lawsuits have been filed in federal courthouses throughout the country on behalf of children who suffer from health problems after being exposed to Zoloft in the womb. Click here to learn more.
Zoloft Lawsuit Update 7/10/12: Attorneys involved in federal Zoloft birth defects lawsuits are set to meet with the judge overseeing the cases on Thursday, when they are expected to discuss the organizational structure of the newly-formed multidistrict litigation (MDL). All of the lawsuits involved in the MDL were brought on behalf of children who were born with severe birth defects after their mothers took Zoloft during pregnancy. Click here to learn more.
Zoloft Lawsuit Update 5/17/12: The first conference in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) for Zoloft birth defects lawsuits has been scheduled to take place later this summer. The meeting’s agenda will consist of discussing the structure of the litigation and to determine whether or not the cases will be resolved or go to trial. Click here to learn more.
Zoloft Lawsuit Update 4/20/12: A panel of federal judges has decided that all Zoloft birth defect legal claims filed against Pfizer on the federal level will be consolidated before one judge as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The move affects nearly 100 lawsuits filed in a half dozen federal districts throughout the United States, as well as any new federal Zoloft birth defects cases filed in the future. Click here to learn more.
Free Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with any of the birth defects mentioned in this article after being exposed to Zoloft in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Zoloft and we can help.
What’s the problem?
In January 2012, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer filed a motion to have all Zoloft birth defect lawsuits consolidated and centralized into the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. At the time the motion was filed, 59 claims over Zoloft had been made in district courts throughout the country. However, plaintiffs have argued that approximately 50 of those cases were improperly transferred into the federal court system, leaving only a small number of cases for consolidation.
On March 29, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled to meet in San Diego, CA, to determine whether all Zoloft birth defects lawsuits should be consolidated into an MDL. Many plaintiffs have opposed the move, arguing that Pfizer improperly removed dozens of claims pending in Pennsylvania state court in order to create the impression that there were fewer cases than actually existed.
The growing number of lawsuits filed around the country is likely to be one of the deciding factors considered by the panel of judges, as the complaints all involve similar allegations that Pfizer failed to adequately research Zoloft and warn the public about the drug’s ability to harm unborn babies in utero.
Pfizer has petitioned to have the Zoloft birth defects litigation transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a venue many believe would be more favorable to the drugmaker. Plaintiffs have argued that the lawsuits should be centralized in different federal district courts, with the majority favoring either the Southern District of Illinois or the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
First approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991, Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescribed for the treatment of depression and other serious psychological disorders. By 2007, nearly 30 million prescriptions had been written for Zoloft, making it the most prescribed antidepressant in the country. Unfortunately, in recent years the drug has been increasingly linked to serious and potentially life-threatening birth defects when taken by expecting mothers during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant).
Birth defects associated with Zoloft include:
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
- Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
- Transposition of the Great Vessels (TGV)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Do You Have a Zoloft Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zoloft lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.
Free Zoloft Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with any of the birth defects mentioned in this article after being exposed to Zoloft in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Zoloft birth defects suit and we can help.