Pfizer’s Zoloft, an antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication, has been linked to birth defects for several years and the company is defending hundreds of Zoloft birth defect lawsuits. The judge presiding over cases consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) recently announced that the first Zoloft birth defect injury trials will begin in 2014.
In April of 2012, nearly 250 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL, a process that allows plaintiffs and defendants to address common allegations in one setting, under Judge Cynthia Rufe in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Some of the individual MDL lawsuits go to trial to determine which issues might arise and how a jury will react to the evidence submitted.
Referred to as bellwether trials, these “first” trials will begin September 12, 2014 according to a recent announcement by Judge Rufe. The trials may result in settlement for all cases in the MDL or allow the individual cases to be transferred back to their court of origination if a settlement cannot be reached. In any case, it will set the tone on other Zoloft birth defect cases currently pending in courts throughout the nation.
Zoloft Side Effects Are Well Documented
SSRI birth defect studies published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Journal of Medicine and many others have repeatedly warned about the danger of taking SSRI medications during pregnancy. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued public warnings about those dangers as well. Zoloft side effects include:
- Anal atresia (partial or complete closure of the anus)
- Atrial septal defects
- Club foot and lip and palate
- Craniosynostosis (skull malformation)
- Heart defects
- Lung defects
- Omphalocele (protrusion of intestines or other organs from the navel)
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
Many experts believe that SSRI manufacturers either knew, or should have known, about these serious side effects and failed to warn about those risks. Sadly, thousands of children have become victims of Zoloft injuries – many of which can result in permanent damage or the need for extensive and costly surgical procedures. If your child has suffered a Zoloft birth injury, contact us to discuss your situation in confidence and determine whether you might be entitled to compensation.