Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuit Filed On Behalf of 8 Children

The parents of eight children born with severe birth defects have filed a product liability lawsuit against Pfizer over the pregnancy side effects of Zoloft

The complaint was filed last month in St. Clair County Circuit Court by Hope Lower, Cindy and Gene Bendickson, Marianne Buneta and Jason Gultch, Monica and Roosevelt Jones, Carlisa and John Black, Mary Schulze, Norneesa Knowles and Sharon Jones and Antoine Bossier. The plaintiffs come from Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.

All of the parents had children with birth defects, which they claim were caused by the mother’s use of Zoloft during pregnancy.

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According to allegations raised in the lawsuit, Zoloft contained inadequate warnings about the risk of defects and malformations when used during pregnancy. The complaint accuses Pfizer of negligence, breach of warranty, strict product liability, fraud, and violating consumer protection laws.

Zoloft (sertraline) is a popular second-generation antidepressant introduced by Pfizer in 1991 for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. By 2007 there were nearly 30 million prescriptions, making it the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States. Zoloft belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

In recent years, a growing amount of research and adverse event reports have suggested that use of Zoloft during pregnancy may increase the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening health problems for babies, including persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), heart defects, lung defects, abdominal defects, cranial defects and other malformations.

Studies have suggested that Zoloft may increase the risk of birth defects when used as early as the first trimester of pregnancy, a time when many women do not even know they are pregnant.

This complaint is one of a growing number of Zoloft birth defect lawsuits filed in recent months on behalf of children throughout the United States, which raise similar allegations that Pfizer failed to adequately warn about the risk of problems with their medication, and that the drug maker continues to refuse to properly warn pregnant women to avoid the antidepressant.


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