Jury Dismisses Zoloft Birth Defect Personal Injury Charges Against Pfizer
After a one-week trial, the jury for the first Zoloft birth defects personal injury case ruled in favor of Pfizer, concluding that the company did not fail to warn of dangers.
On Friday, April 17th, the jury cleared Pfizer of liability for Zoloft’s birth defects, despite numerous complaints about issues after taking the drug during pregnancy. Plaintiff Kristyn Pesante was the first plaintiff in a larger Zoloft litigation, who took Zoloft during pregnancy, thinking the drug was safe. Her son was born with a rare congenital heart defect. In her complaint, Pesante accused Pfizer of failing to warn patients and doctors of the potential issues with taking Zoloft during pregnancy.
Pesante filed her lawsuit in 2012, claiming that Pfizer went so far as to promote Zoloft use during pregnancy for women with serious depression, adding that Zoloft had lower potential for side effects than other drugs used to treat depression. Pesante said she took the drug only during her first trimester, and was unaware of any potential danger to her child.
Pfizer disputes any scientific link between Zoloft birth defects, despite scientific studies linking SSRI antidepressants to birth defects. One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Zoloft increases the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn. The study found that women who took Zoloft are six times as likely to give birth to a child with PPH, and are twice as likely to give birth to a child with septal or ventricular defects in the heart. Another study published in February 2014 found that SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac can be linked to an increased risk in newborn PPH.
Hundreds of personal injury lawsuits involving Zoloft birth defects have been filed as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), and Pesante’s was the first to go to trial. However, last year in November, Pfizer had over 500 cases in the Zoloft MDL because, Pfizer said, the plaintiffs could not prove the link between their children’s birth defects and taking Zoloft.
The 526 Zoloft birth defects lawsuits were consolidated in an MDL in 2012. In 2010, GlaxoSmithKline paid an undisclosed amount to settle their own MDL involving birth defect allegations against their antidepressant, Paxil.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Women Whose Children Suffer Zoloft Birth Defects
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
If your child was born with any of these birth defects, and you took Zoloft during your pregnancy at any time, you may have a personal injury case against Pfizer, and could be eligible to join the MDL. The pharmaceutical liability attorneys at the Strom Law Firm represent Zoloft personal injury and birth defect cases from South Carolina and Georgia. We fight for your rights against negligent pharmaceutical companies who fail to warn about the dangers of their drugs. We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your baby’s Zoloft injuries, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800