On June 25, 2013, a new Zoloft birth defect lawsuit was filed, and it has been added to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) currently proceeding in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federal Zoloft lawsuits in Pennsylvania on April 27, 2012, creating MDL No. 2342. In the new lawsuit, the parents allege that the heart defects suffered by their child were caused by the mother’s ingestion of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. According to court documents, the mother took Zoloft during her pregnancy, and the child was born suffering from Tetralogy of Fallot and Pulmonary Atresia. Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare heart defect caused by a combination of four issues present at birth. A hole exists between the heart’s two lower chambers, the main artery is in the wrong place, the right ventricle muscle is thicker than usual, and the pulmonary valve is narrowed. This condition often causes babies to have bluish skin, lips and fingernails due to low oxygen in the blood. Open-heart surgery is the only treatment and often occurs shortly after birth. With surgery, children usually survive to adulthood, but will need lifelong medical care. In Pulmonary Atresia, a defect that occurs during the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the pulmonary valve is completely closed, blocking blood flow from the heart to the lungs. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 1996, linking exposure to SSRI antidepressants late in pregnancy to babies with higher rates of prematurity, poor neonatal adaption, significantly lower birth weight and length and persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN). In September 2009, the British Medical Journal published a study indicating mothers who took SSRIs early in pregnancy were at a higher risk of giving birth to children with heart defects. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported on a study in 2010 indicating women who used a particular antidepressant during pregnancy had more than twice the risk of women who had not used that drug, of delivering children with heart defects called “left outflow tract defects.” The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, knew about the risks associated with the medication, but failed to warn doctors and expectant mothers. They are seeking punitive and compensatory damages for defective design, failure to warn, negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment.
Zoloft Lawsuit Attorneys
If your child was diagnosed with a heart defect and you took the dangerous drug Zoloft during your pregnancy, it is important to speak with a Zoloft lawsuit attorney immediately. The national Zoloft lawsuit attorneys at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our national Zoloft lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.