Pfizer Claims Zoloft Plaintiffs in MDL Cannot Prove Causation
On Wednesday, November 5th, Pfizer Inc requested that a federal judge in Pennsylvania to dismiss more than 500 cases from the Zoloft injury multidistrict litigation (MDL) because, according to the pharmaceutical giant, the plaintiffs cannot prove that the antidepressant led to birth defects.
“The company stands by our medicine, and we intend to vigorously defend it,” said Christine Lindenboom, a spokesperson for New York-based Pfizer in a statement.
The 526 Zoloft birth defects lawsuits were consolidated in an MDL in 2012. Earlier this year, Judge Cynthia Rufe issued a ruling excluding four experts called to testify against Pfizer and Zoloft because their arguments were not deemed rigorous enough.
The plaintiffs argued that future investigations into Zoloft’s side effects could link the drug to birth defects when pregnant women took the antidepressant. Pfizer submitted that the plaintiffs must use evidence from present investigations into the drug.
Studies by the New England Journal of Medicine have found that Zoloft can increase the risk of serious heart defects when women take the drug during pregnancy. Pregnant women taking Zoloft are six times more likely to give birth to a child with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). The study also states women are twice as likely to give birth to a child with septal defects or ventricular outflow tract defects. Another study, published in the British Medical Journal in February this year, shows a link between antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac, and birth defects like persistent newborn pulmonary hypertension.
The latest published study, conducted by a team of Canadian researchers, concluded that SSRI drugs like Zoloft could increase the risk of lung problems in newborns. However, the absolute risk of complication was still low – 3.5 out of every 1,000 births experienced a birth defect.
However, plaintiffs in the MDL argue that Pfizer knew about this link and still choose to manufacture and promote the drug, despite the known side effects. This constitutes negligence on behalf of Pfizer, the women claim.
Zoloft Birth Defect Claims
Women who take SSRI antidepressants while they are pregnant face an increased risk of having children with birth defects. If you or someone you love has taken Zoloft and given birth to a child with a birth defect, give us a call today at 803.252.4800 for a free case evaluation; you could be entitled to compensation.
Common birth defects after taking Zoloft while pregnant include:
- Congenital heart lesions & anomalies
- Down’s syndrome
- Undescended testes in males
- Spina bifida
- Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)
- Septal defects; Cleft lip and/or cleft palate
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Zoloft Birth Defect Claims
The pharmaceutical liability lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC are at the forefront of the fight to protect the public against dangerous drugs, from Actos to Zoloft. We will fight to ensure that you and your loved ones receive the justice you deserve. Contact our defective drug and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case as well as your legal rights. 803.252.4800