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Pfizer’s Zoloft blamed in yet another wrongful death suit

A family whose newborn baby died the day she was born is suing the maker’s of Zoloft claiming the drug, ingested by the mother during her pregnancy was the cause of their child’s birth defects which ultimately killed her. Many St. Louis Missouri readers of our blog are no doubt familiar with the number of studies that have found a connection between antidepressants taken during pregnancy and birth defects.

The Wisconsin family’s wrongful death lawsuit in this latest case names Pfizer Inc., Pfizer International LLC and Greenstone LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the company as defendants. The couple’s child was born with severe defects in January of 2010, including hydrocephalus and pulmonary hypoplasia and major malformations of the brain. The lawsuit alleges the child’s birth defects were a direct result of the mother taking Zoloft during her pregnancy.

The suit alleges that the defendants either knew of or should have known of the risks to the fetus when pregnant mothers were prescribed the drug or its generic version, Sertraline. The defendants are accused of failing to be truthful when it chose to not disclose important data regarding the dangers of Zoloft or Sertraline to the FDA, the medical community or the general public. The company’s failure to disclose this information misled the medical community and public and is considered to be negligent, intentional and fraudulent actions by the defendants.

Because of the vast number of lawsuits against Pfizer regarding Zoloft, there is a multi-jurisdictional consolidation of claims filed that is being overseen by a federal judge. The judge overseeing the Zoloft Products Liability Litigation issued a pretrial order just before the filing of the family’s wrongful death action, which gave plaintiffs 60 days in which to file a response in the multidistrict suit.

The family is seeking actual as well as general, economic and special damages, including medical expenses, mental and emotional distress and attorney’s fees in its suit. Plaintiffs are also seeking exemplary and punitive damages in the matter. The suits cause of action includes violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, wrongful death, loss of consortium and pecuniary loss for strict product liability, fraud, negligence, gross negligence, malice, negligent design and misrepresentation and suppression, among other claims.

Source: The Pennsylvanian Record, “Wisconsin couple files Zoloft wrongful death claim in Phila. federal court,” Jon Campisi, Jan. 4, 2013

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