A recent lawsuit filed on behalf of a former Zoloft user who claims her child was born with a number of severe heart defects after she took the drug during pregnancy is the latest to join the growing litigation against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The new lawsuit claims the baby has been subjected to ongoing medical fair, and that she has been ‘deprived of living a normal childhood and life’ because her mother took Zoloft while pregnant. Despite the alarming number of similar claims that have been filed in recent months, Pfizer continues to market Zoloft to pregnant women around the country.
What’s the problem?
The Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Jade and Jason Byington, alleges that their daughter Sadie was born with three different congenital heart defects after Jade took the controversial antidepressant during pregnancy. The couple, who filed their claim last month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, is attempting to hold Pfizer accountable for the injuries their daughter must deal with for the rest of her life.
According to the Byington’s lawsuit, Sadie was born in October 2003, and was subsequently diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, and coarctation of the aorta. All three of these heart defects have been repeatedly linked to Zoloft and other antidepressants from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of drugs. The lawsuit claims that Pfizer knew – or should have known – about Zoloft’s potential to cause birth defects, yet it failed to warn the public and medical communities about this risk.
By 2005, Zoloft had become the best-selling SSRI antidepressant in the United States, netting annual sales of approximately $3.3 billion. Although the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about possible Zoloft-induced birth defects the same year, it was already too late for huge numbers of patients who had already taken the drug during pregnancy and given birth to babies with serious congenital malformations. At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, we urge the parents of babies born with Zoloft birth defects to consider filing a lawsuit in the hopes of winning compensation from Pfizer, who many hold accountable for these life-threatening conditions.