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A $10 Million Zoloft Lawsuit Is Filed By the Mother of a Child Born with a Heart Defect

Women who take the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) during pregnancy and then give birth to a child with birth defects may wonder about their eligibility to file Zoloft litigation. Mothers who can prove that they had overall healthy pregnancies, with little evident cause for birth defects other than their ingestion of the drug, may be the best candidates for a successful case against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft.

Several studies have shown a potential link between the ingestion of Zoloft during pregnancy and birth defects. An attorney, however is always best suited to advise women on their eligibility to file a claim.

The plaintiff alleges her ingestion of Zoloft during pregnancy caused her son’s birth defects

On May 31, 2012, a Washington woman filed a $10 million lawsuit on behalf of her son, S.W., who allegedly suffers from birth defects from Zoloft. The case was originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, but was transferred to the current Zoloft multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on July 18, 2012.

The plaintiff alleges that because of her ingestion of Zoloft during pregnancy, her son was born with serious birth defects. She seeks to hold Pfizer liable for failing to warn of the risks, and failing to adequately test the product on pregnant women.

In her complaint, she says that she began taking the drug in September 2003, and used it until April 14, 2004. Her son, S.W. was born in 2004.

The plaintiff claims she was unaware of the risks associated with Zoloft

The plaintiff’s Zoloft attorney states that the woman’s son suffered birth defects as a result of his mother’s ingestion of Zoloft during pregnancy. He has a septal heart defect as well as other severe and personal injuries of a permanent and lasting nature. The plaintiff says she was unaware of any risks of birth defects associated with Zoloft, as the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings.

S.W. is reported to suffer a septal heart defect, which results because of a problem during the development of the heart in utero. Also called a “hole in the heart,” a septal heart defect describes a condition in which the inner wall of the heart, called the septum, which typically separates the two sides of the heart, does not develop properly.

A lawyer will note scientific studies and the birth injury when considering a case

A lawyer in a Zoloft case is likely to note scientific studies linking antidepressants like Zoloft with septal heart defects. A 2005 Danish study, for example, found that the use of Zoloft early in pregnancy was associated with a small increased risk for heart defects.

Another study in the July 2011 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that women taking antidepressants during the first trimester were twice as likely to have babies born with septal heart defects.

When considering eligibility to file a lawsuit, a lawyer may look at the specific birth defect at issue. In this case, it is S.W.’s alleged septal heart defect.

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