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California Mother Says Pfizer Failed to Warn of Zoloft Birth Defects

A Zoloft birth defects lawsuit was brought against Pfizer on July 3, 2013 in the San Francisco County Superior Court, alleging that the manufacturer of the antidepressant failed to warn her of increased risks to her unborn child.

The baby was born on March 10, 2011 and suffers from several birth defects – including heart defects that require continuous care and treatment. It is likely the infant will need surgery in the future, her doctors said and some of the newborn’s damage is still being uncovered.

Pfizer accused of concealing Zoloft risks

The plaintiff is suing on seven separate causes of action, including:

  • Strict liability / Failure to warn
  • Negligence
  • Breach of express warranty
  • Deceit by concealment
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Fraud and fraudulent concealment

She is demanding that Pfizer pay for past and future damages, loss of earnings and impaired work capacity, past and future medical expenses, past and future mental / emotional distress, attorney fees, and punitive damages.

Zoloft side effects in newborns

The antidepressant sertraline, marketed as Zoloft, was first FDA-approved to treat depression in 1991. The lawsuit states that the defendants “actively and aggressively promoted Zoloft as being a safe alternative for pregnant women.” As a result of “misleading and inaccurate information that defendants disseminated to physicians,” the plaintiff’s doctor felt comfortable prescribing the antidepressant to his pregnant patient.

The Zoloft birth defects lawsuit alleges that the defendants were aware of fetal cardiac risks and damage related to increase serotonin levels, based on the results of animal studies, but fraudulently concealed knowledge of possible SSRI birth defects and actively continued to promote the drug to pregnant women without warning.

The Mayo Clinic states that the overall risk of birth defects due to SSRI drugs like sertraline appears to be low – but even so, some of the alleged Zoloft side effects in babies include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and heart defects affecting the septum that separates the right and left side of the heart.

Zoloft birth defects lawsuit news

Information has begun to circulate regarding Zoloft side effects in newborns. In a similar case in New York, a baby boy was born with multiple congenital birth defects, including severe aortic valve stenosis, shortness of breath, fainting, chest pain and potential heart failure. Despite surgery, the child will struggle with permanent disability and require continuous monitoring.

Currently, there are more than 138 cases consolidated in the Zoloft Multidistrict Litigation based in Philadelphia court. The West Virginia Record states that similar lawsuits claim Zoloft birth injuries such as: holes in the heart, craniofacial defects, neural tube defects, pulmonary hypertension, atrial septal defect and other malformations. The first bellwether cases are scheduled to begin by October 2014.