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What Are the Legal Options for Zoloft Side Effects?

Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant medication of the type known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or “SSRIs”. A developing infant exposed to sertraline in the womb may be born with a range of debilitating conditions such as heart problems after taking Zoloft, persistent pulmonary hypertension (Zoloft PPHN), skeletal deformations, and other permanent developmental injuries.

Parents of injured children are entitled to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Zoloft, Pfizer, for compensatory and even punitive damages.

Recovering damages from responsible parties

In the U.S. the legal system remains the primary means by which injured persons can recover damages from the responsible parties. Parents whose children may have been injured in utero by the antidepressant Zoloft may be unsure about whether compensation for birth defects is available and, if so, how the process of achieving just compensation works. The process begins by filing a lawsuit and setting forth the particular injuries suffered so that compensation can be measured and awarded.

In a personal injury lawsuit, the goal of damage awards is to return the injured party (the plaintiff) to the position he or she would have been in but for the injury. For example, if an individual is 30% impaired by an injury, the jury would determine the monetary value for that 30% and award the appropriate compensation.

Whether a child achieves compensation through a complete legal proceeding—such as a trial and jury verdict—or a settlement in lieu of litigation, the factors considered will likely be similar.

How is a plaintiff made “whole”?

In the effort to make a plaintiff “whole,” both past and future losses are considered. Past losses, such as medical expenses already paid, can be readily quantified. Future losses, such as future medical expenses, can only be estimated. Common categories of damages that may be considered in Zoloft lawsuits include:

• Past and future wage losses

• Past and future medical expenses

• Disability

• Out-of-pocket expenses (such as travel for medical care)

• Pain and suffering

These compensatory damages are designed to make a plaintiff whole. In addition, there are also damages that can apply if the defendant has behaved in a shocking or extremely reckless manner. These damages, known as punitive or exemplary damages, are designed to punish the defendant and remove the incentive for reckless behavior.


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