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Hiring a Qualified Zoloft Lawyer

Zoloft (sertraline chloride) was first introduced in the United States in 1999. The drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, marketed Zoloft as a safer alternative to competing antidepressants like Prozac. Marketing shone the spotlight far away from the side effects and serious complications of the drug, which soon reached blockbuster status.

Zoloft Lawyer consultationBetween 1999 and 2005 nearly 30 million prescriptions were written for Zoloft. In 2005, it was the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States and grossed almost $2.6 billion. But by 2005, adverse Zoloft side effects had started to emerge: worsening depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide ideation. And later, reports of birth defects like persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), heard defects, omphalocele, craniosynostosis, and clubfoot.

That’s where a Zoloft lawyer comes in. A qualified lawyer is like a guide to the legal system, helping you establish proof of your injuries and Pfizer’s wrongdoing. The key to a successful case is the ability to demonstrate that Pfizer acted against the public’s best interest – your best interest – when they manufactured a dangerous drug, and subsequently failed to warn the medical community or patients about potential risks. A Zoloft lawyer will seek damages on your behalf, to compensate for pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium (companionship), among other repercussions.

What a Zoloft lawyer can do for you

An experienced Zoloft attorney is the key to a successful lawsuit. A good product liability lawyer can help you:

  • Prepare your case: Pre-trial preparations for your lawsuit can be time consuming and complicated. A qualified attorney will conduct discovery, prepare for depositions, and establish proof in your case. For this reason, it is very important to hire a firm with experience in litigation involving dangerous drugs against pharmaceutical companies.
  • Fight big pharma: Pfizer is one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, and taking big pharma to court is no small task. As a defendant, Pfizer has deep pockets and lawyers with decades of experience – your pockets may not be so deep, but you should have equally experienced lawyers. Your Zoloft attorney should advise you on best, fastest and surest route to resolve your case.
  • Negotiate a settlement: Pfizer will likely settle many lawsuits out-of-court. Your Zoloft lawyer should be prepared to negotiate your settlement, but should never make any decision on your behalf. You should be apprised of all settlement negotiations, from any offers Pfizer makes to how a proposed settlement compares to other completed negotiations.
  • Try your case: If you do not reach a pre-trial settlement, your attorney must be prepared to take your case to trial. Your lawyer will be required to establish proof, question witnesses, and create strong arguments to convince a jury. You must find an attorney who has a winning track record in pharmaceutical law, and has successfully negotiated settlements and won jury verdicts.

Recent events in Zoloft litigation

On April 17, 2012 the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated qualifying federal Zoloft lawsuits into multidistrict litigation. The Zoloft MDL is centralized under Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. At the time of consolidation, about 90 lawsuits were included in the MDL. Since that time, many more cases have been added. As of April 2013, the count held steady at about 336 cases and another 50 pending.

Judge Rufe later chose 25 cases as “bellwether” trials, which will help establish a baseline for future case. Notably, in MDL litigation, each plaintiff stands individually; cases are consolidated for pre-trial procedures and later remanded back to their original courts for trial. The first bellwether trials are slated for October 2014.

Zoloft lawsuit MDL

Currently, Zoloft lawyers are busy with pre-trial preparations in the MDL. Their most challenging task at this point is the burden of proof – establishing that Zoloft caused each plaintiff’s side effects. Additionally, Zoloft attorneys must demonstrate that Pfizer was aware of potential complications and antidepressant side effects and chose not to act.

To do this, they are deposing witnesses, collecting information and combing through studies and other evidence. For example, a recent study from the University of Michigan shows that popular SSRI antidepressants may cause a higher risk of infection.

Noteworthy plaintiffs & their lawyers

In any defective drug lawsuit, all plaintiffs are noteworthy – they have all suffered unexpected and life-changing events after taking drugs that promised to improve their health. Likewise, every Zoloft lawyer is notable in his or her fight against big pharma: the search for truth and proof of wrongdoing.

Some of the most recent plaintiffs to join the Zoloft MDL include:

  • A South Dakota mother who took Zoloft while she was pregnant and gave birth to a child with atrial septal defect, a non-Ebsteinoid valve abnormality, and patent ductus arteriosus. The child also suffers from abnormal development of the facial and cranial areas, and also esotropia. She claims that Pfizer failed to warn about risks of antidepressants and pregnancy.
  • A Connecticut mother who took Zoloft during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with bilateral clubfeet.
  • An Alaska couple who, after the pregnant woman took Zoloft during pregnancy, gave birth to a child with atrial septal defect (ASD). The child’s serious heart defects will require treatment for life.