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. Over the past several years, Zoloft has been increasingly linked to serious and potentially life-threatening birth defects including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), spina bifida, heart and lung defects, abdominal defects, and other severe congenital 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.
Free Zoloft Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was born with birth defects 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?
April 20, 2012 – On Wednesday, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced that it would consolidate all federal Zoloft lawsuits into an MDL to be overseen by U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The claims were brought on behalf of families of babies who were born with birth defects after the mothers took Zoloft while pregnant. The lawsuits allege that Pfizer was negligent in failing to warn the public and medical communities about the risk of congenital abnormalities associated with its blockbuster antidepressant.
Zoloft and other similar SSRIs have been linked to the following birth defects:
- 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
First approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991, Zoloft (generic: sertraline) is prescribed for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCDs), and a variety of other serious psychological conditions. Within a decade of it being released, some 30 million prescriptions had been written for Zoloft, making it the best-selling antidepressant in the country.
When an MDL is formed, all lawsuits filed in federal court are centralized before a single judge for pre-trial proceedings. This is intended to prevent duplicate discovery and contrary decisions, and to move things as swiftly through the litigation process as possible. However, if the parties fail to reach a settlement or otherwise resolve the cases, they will be ordered back to their original jurisdiction for individual trials.
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 defect cases in all 50 states.
Free Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with birth defects 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.