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New Zoloft Lawsuit Alleges Severe Birth Defects Linked to Antidepressant

Zoloft Side Effects Include Heart Problems, MalformationsA plaintiff has filed a Zoloft lawsuit against drug manufacturer Pfizer, alleging use of the antidepressant during pregnancy led to serious birth defects in her unborn child. The woman who filed the lawsuit states her child will continue to suffer from severe Zoloft side effects throughout his entire life.

Zoloft lawsuit joins multidistrict litigation

This lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on March 29, 2013, where it joins dozens of other lawsuits filed by an SSRI birth defects lawyer on behalf of injured plaintiffs. These cases have been coordinated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), which streamlines pre-trial proceedings to prevent duplicate discovery and conflicting rulings. When the MDL was first established in April, 2012, more than 90 cases were immediately added to the coordination. Since that time, the MDL has grown, as more plaintiffs have filed a Zoloft lawsuit alleging a host of birth defects linked to the drug.

All of the lawsuits pending in the federal MDL involve birth defects ranging from moderate to life-threatening. The mother plaintiffs all took Zoloft during pregnancy, allegedly unaware of the potential risks of the drug to their unborn children. Zoloft is an antidepressant that belongs to the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The medication was first approved by the FDA in 1991 and by 2007, it was the most popular of all the SSRIs on the market.

Unfortunately, Zoloft has also been linked to a number of serious birth defects, including heart malformations, limb abnormalities, and gastrointestinal defects. Some of the children born with these defects have required surgery soon after birth to correct their conditions. Others have died as a result of their birth defects. To date, more than 250 parents have filed a Zoloft lawsuit, claiming Pfizer failed to provide adequate warning about the risks of the drug during pregnancy.

Child of mother plaintiff born with multiple birth defects

In this recent Zoloft lawsuit, the mother plaintiff alleges she took the antidepressant throughout her pregnancy, according to her physician’s prescription. After her son was born, he was diagnosed with “congenital endocardial cushion defect, heart murmur, failure to thrive, congestive heart failure and general developmental delay,” according to the complaint. An endocardial cushion defect is a lack of separation between the two sides of the heart, which can result in increased blood pressure in the lungs and heart failure. Surgery is the recommended treatment for this condition, which usually takes place between three and six months of age.

At three months of age, the child underwent surgery to correct the atrioventricular defect. By his eighth month, the plaintiff’s son was unable to gain weight, slept too much and appeared to have breathing difficulties at times. By the 25th month of life, this child continued to show signs of failure to thrive and physicians could detect a heart murmur at every one of his medical appointments.

The mother plaintiff claims that her son’s injuries, including heart problems, have caused him a great deal of physical suffering and the inability to enjoy a normal life. The defects have also been a stress of emotional and physical suffering for her, as she has been forced to care for her sick child. The economic stress has also been great, due to lost wages and mounting medical bills. The plaintiff is now seeking punitive, compensatory, and treble damages from Pfizer, listing counts of unjust enrichment, malicious conduct, and negligence on the complaint, among others.