Pfizer Wins First Zoloft Birth Defect Trial

trial lengthA Missouri state court jury in St. Louis concluded last month the antidepressant Zoloft, manufactured by Pfizer Inc., did not cause birth defects in one case. There have been over 1,000 lawsuits filed against Zoloft, the most popular antidepressant in the US.   Zoloft (also known as sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), an antidepressant drug in the same class as Prozac, Paxil, and Wellbutrin, among others. Some research claims that using SSRI’s such as Zoloft during pregnancy increase the risk of heart and lung defects in newborns.   This case in St. Louis, on the behalf of Logyn Pesante, was the first individual case against Pfizer to proceed to trial. The family of Pesante sought compensation for heart abnormalities and other birth defects. The family argued that the boy was born with these congenital defects because his mother took Zoloft during her pregnancy.   Pesante’s lawyers argued that Pfizer officials had knowledge linking Zoloft with birth defects and failed to warn consumers in order to protect sales. Lawyers claimed that Pfizer company researchers noted that women should not take Zoloft without also using birth control because of the risk of defects. However, the warning did not appear on the label, according to Pesante’s lawyers.   The attorneys of Pfizer, Inc., claimed there were never any credible studies proving that Zoloft causes birth defects. They also argued that birth defects are much more common than most people think and these specific birth defects would have occurred even without the use of Zoloft during pregnancy.  

Upcoming Zoloft Birth Defect Trials

  A similar lawsuit is currently on trial this month in a Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia. Just a few days a new medical expert was approved by a judge to testify against the drug in one of the state’s cases. Judge Mark I. Bernstein will allow Dr. Nicholas Jewell’s testimony connecting prenatal heart defects with the use of Zoloft in Robinson v. Wolters Kluwer Health.   A federal judge will soon decide whether Jewell’s testimony is permissible in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Look out for the results of this hearing which will take place on June 1.   Looking ahead, five cases in the MDL Zoloft proceedings are scheduled for January 2016 in a Pennsylvania federal court. United States District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe selected the initial five cases from the trial pool earlier this month. She selected from roughly 600 cases that were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in her court.  

Unsafe Drug Lawyer in New Jersey

  If you or a family member have suffered congenital heart, lung, or other birth defects after taking Zoloft during pregnancy, contact The Hayes Firm today for a free consultation. We will review your case, answer your questions, and connect you with a local attorney if necessary, completely free of charge.

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