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A New Lawsuit Alleging Birth Defects After Zoloft Joins the Pennsylvania MDL

A lawsuit filed by Zoloft lawyers on September 6, 2012, joined the multidistrict litigation (MDL) of lawsuits against Zoloft located in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on October 2, 2012.

Originally filed in the Northern District of California, the plaintiff is alleged to have been unaware of the risks Zoloft had for her unborn child if she took it while she was pregnant. According to the lawsuit, because she took Zoloft during her pregnancy, the baby was born with heart defects and will require ongoing, long-term care for the rest of his life.

The plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages and says that the money is necessary for past and future expenses due to her son’s birth defects, as well as pain, suffering, emotional distress. She also claims loss of consortium.

The plaintiff claims that she was unaware of the risks of taking Zoloft while pregnant

In the new case, the plaintiff asserts that she was not aware of the risks with the drug. She began taking it in 2008 and became pregnant later that year. She continued taking Zoloft after consulting with her doctor and when her son was born on February 27, 2009, he was diagnosed with congenital aortic stenosis—a serious heart defect. Other alleged birth defects include heart defects and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN).

By request of Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, the new case was moved to the federal MDL in Pennsylvania to join the other lawsuits that claim birth defects from use of the antidepressant drug.

A public health advisory was issued by the FDA regarding heart defects from Zoloft

The reports of side effects after taking Zoloft have been ongoing. A public health advisory warning was issued by the FDA that certain types of heart defects could occur when the medication is taken within the first three months of a pregnancy. Women who took Zoloft while pregnant and had babies with these types of defects have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for their babies’ injuries, pain, suffering, and medical bills which can be long-term and very costly.

The plaintiff’s baby requires two surgeries shortly after birth to repair aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve of the heart is not functioning properly. Because of this, blood flow to the heart is restricted. This can lead to such problems as heart arrhythmias as well as failure of one side of the heart to work properly. Treatment for this is varied depending on the condition’s severity and can include both medication and surgery.

The lawsuit states that the plaintiff’s baby required two surgeries. The first was called a balloon valvotomy performed shortly after the baby’s birth. In that surgery, a balloon is placed in the artery to open it and allow for the flow of more blood.

The second procedure was performed when the child was at the age of one month and was to repair the damaged aortic valve.

The plaintiff’s lawyer states that the baby may require additional surgeries in the future.

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