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Zoloft Lawsuit

Mothers suffering from pregnancy complications linked to Zoloft have filed lawsuits against Pfizer. More than 100 Zoloft lawsuits have been consolidated in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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Zoloft (sertraline) belongs to a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Doctors prescribe Zoloft to treat several psychological disorders, primarily:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors

Zoloft first arrived on the market in 1991 after receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Aggressive marketing soon put Zoloft in the ranks of America’s most-prescribed medications. 1

Zoloft and Life-Threatening Side Effects

Promoters of SSRIs, including Zoloft, touted the drugs as being safer than the antidepressants that came before them. 2 This convinced many doctors that they could prescribe Zoloft with confidence. 3

Later, researchers found that some of Zoloft’s side effects were potentially life-threatening. In 2004, the FDA issued its first safety alert about these dangers from side effects.

Prominent among the Zoloft dangers is the risk of serious birth-defects – including heart deformities – in children whose mothers took Zoloft during pregnancy.

Lawsuit Allegations Against Pfizer

The discovery of these dangerous side effects gave rise to lawsuits against the makers of Zoloft and similar SSRI drugs. The lawsuits specifically name Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, as a defendant.

The lawsuits accuse Pfizer of making and selling a drug whose side effects render it dangerous. They also accuse Pfizer of failing to warn consumers and promulgating misleading information about Zoloft’s safety.

Compensation Related to Zoloft Use During Pregnancy

Zoloft victims want Pfizer to compensate them for the harms caused by the drug. In these cases, compensation is sought for the mental torment experienced and endured by those who took Zoloft and by mothers who took Zoloft during their pregnancy and whose children have suffered from birth defects.

Zoloft Lawsuits and MDL

Zoloft’s manufacturer Pfizer already has been named as the defendant in hundreds of product liability and negligence lawsuits around the country, and is expected to be so named in many hundreds more.

Among these lawsuits, those garnering the lion’s share of attention are taking place in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania regarding birth defects in infants whose mothers took Zoloft during their pregnancies. 4

There, Judge Cynthia M. Rufe has consolidated more than 100 Zoloft lawsuits into a single multidistrict litigation. 5

This multidistrict litigation (MDL) began in 2012 and remains in progress. 6

  1. Linda A. Johnson, “Pfizer Disputes Claim Against Antidepressant: A Woman’s Lawsuit Accuses The Drugmaker Of Consumer Fraud And Other Offenses,” Associated Press published in USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/31/pfizer-zoloft-lawsuit/1881441/ (Jan. 31, 2013). Accessed Jan. 22, 2015. 

  2. Linda A. Johnson, “Pfizer Disputes Claim Against Antidepressant: A Woman’s Lawsuit Accuses The Drugmaker Of Consumer Fraud And Other Offenses,” Associated Press published in USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/31/pfizer-zoloft-lawsuit/1881441/ (Jan. 31, 2013). Accessed Jan. 22, 2015. 

  3. Linda A. Johnson, “Pfizer Disputes Claim Against Antidepressant: A Woman’s Lawsuit Accuses The Drugmaker Of Consumer Fraud And Other Offenses,” Associated Press published in USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/31/pfizer-zoloft-lawsuit/1881441/ (Jan. 31, 2013). Accessed Jan. 22, 2015. 

  4. Sindhu Sundar, “Plaintiffs Can Introduce New Expert In Zoloft MDL, Judge Says,” Law360, http://www.law360.com/articles/609449/plaintiffs-can-introduce-new-expert-in-zoloft-mdl-judge-says (Jan. 8, 2015). Accessed Jan. 22, 2015. 

  5. Sindhu Sundar, “Plaintiffs Can Introduce New Expert In Zoloft MDL, Judge Says,” Law360, http://www.law360.com/articles/609449/plaintiffs-can-introduce-new-expert-in-zoloft-mdl-judge-says (Jan. 8, 2015). Accessed Jan. 22, 2015. 

  6. Sindhu Sundar, “Plaintiffs Can Introduce New Expert In Zoloft MDL, Judge Says,” Law360, http://www.law360.com/articles/609449/plaintiffs-can-introduce-new-expert-in-zoloft-mdl-judge-says (Jan. 8, 2015). Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.