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Zoloft Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Mothers Who Claim it Caused Birth Defects

Feb 16, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

Pfizer has been hit with yet another Zoloft birth defect lawsuit, this time a class action filed by a group of mothers in St. Louis.  The plaintiffs, who allege their use of Zoloft caused their child to be born with birth defects, are asking for more than $200,000 in actual damages from Pfizer, along with punitive damages and court costs.

A growing number of studies have linked Zoloft and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant use in pregnancy with serious birth defects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), heart defects, lung defects, abdominal defects, cranial defects and other malformations. Pfizer is facing more than 50 birth defect lawsuits in courts around the country, and most legal experts expect that more will be filed. 

The Zoloft birth defect lawsuit recently filed in St. Louis alleges Pfizer knew the dangers of  Zoloft but hid information that showed all of the risks associated with taking the antidepressant during pregnancy. All of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit claim they were prescribed the Zoloft during their pregnancy, and that their children were born severe medical defects, including damage to their hearts.

The litigation involving Zoloft birth defects does appear to be gaining momentum.  Next month, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is expected to hear oral arguments on a motion filed by Pfizer seeking to consolidate all such lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation before a single federal judge.

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