For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Illinois Child’s Fatal Birth Defects Linked to Zoloft

On May 9, 2013, an Illinois resident filed a Zoloft heart defects lawsuit on behalf of herself and her minor son, deceased. The complaint was filed against Pfizer, Inc. regarding the company’s antidepressant medication, Zoloft. It alleges that the use of the drug during pregnancy resulted in birth defects that claimed the life of the minor child, and the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages. This case is currently proceeding in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois under Judge Amy J. St. Eve.

Plaintiff unaware of pregnancy risk

In 2001, the plaintiff was prescribed Zoloft to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Zoloft (sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is a type of antidepressant prescribed for anxiety disorders, PTSD, and other issues. The plaintiff alleges that she used the drug as prescribed. She continued to use it throughout her pregnancy.

Her child was born on March 25, 2008. Shortly after birth, he was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a rare congenital heart defect that causes problems with the heart’s structure and blood circulation. The minor child’s heart defect was characterized by the enlargement of the heart muscle on the right ventricle, pulmonary stenosis, improper aorta position, and ventricular septal defect. The minor child passed away five hours after birth as a result of his birth defect.

On May 17, 2011, the plaintiff’s doctor discontinued her prescription of Zoloft. At that time, the plaintiff discovered the association between Zoloft and pregnancy risks. She is seeking compensatory damages for associated medical expenses, emotional distress, and loss of love and society.

Many birth defects linked to Zoloft

Many other plaintiffs have filed a Zoloft heart defects lawsuit alleging birth defects linked to the popular antidepressant. There is currently a multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding in federal court in Pennsylvania, which consolidated complaints of moderate to severe birth defects. These include gastrointestinal defects, limb deformities, and heart defects. Other plaintiffs have also alleged defects such as craniosynotostosis, omphalocele, and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

Zoloft lawsuit alleges failure to disclose

Zoloft was first marketed and sold in the U.S. in 1991, and it became available in generic form in 2005. Zoloft is one of the most popular antidepressants available on the market, racking up $3.3 billion in sales for the defendants in 2005. However, studies have shown that the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening birth defects can increase by as much as 600 percent when the drug is used during pregnancy, according to the complaint.

This Zoloft heart defects lawsuit charges that the defendants either knew or should have known that the drug was capable of transmitting to the fetus via the placenta, and that it elevated the risk of serious birth defects. The lawsuit further alleges that the defendants failed to disclose the potential for these risks to healthcare professionals and patients, including the plaintiff in this complaint. The plaintiff claims that had she known of the risks, she never would have used the drug during her pregnancy. In addition to the allegation of failure to warn in the past, the plaintiff’s Zoloft lawsuit alleges that the current label on the drug is inadequate.