Just as it was for mothers who filed the 18 Zoloft class action lawsuits sent July 12 from federal court back to state court in West Virginia, the door has remained open for Zoloft victims to pursue compensation for Zoloft injuries. Zoloft class action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of babies who have suffered from birth defects and from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and whose mothers used the antidepressant during pregnancy.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied Pfizer's appeal, which allowed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to send the Zoloft class action lawsuits back to a state court in West Virginia. There are nearly 400 more Zoloft class action lawsuits consolidated before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Whether the case is tried in federal or state court, plaintiffs in Zoloft class action lawsuits may assert that Pfizer either knew or should have known about and warned about the drug's increased risks; should not have represented Zoloft (sertraline) as safe, even during pregnancy; and should not have produced, distributed and promoted the apparently defective product.
Negligence and products liability claims also may be filed against the makers of the other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants if injuries linked to the same unreasonable health risks can be traced to the mother's use of an SSRI during pregnancy. In addition to Zoloft, the SSRI class includes Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Luvox and Viibryd.
The injuries related to Zoloft's increased risks are serious. In addition to their severity, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, or PPHN, and numerous Zoloft birth defects exact a financial toll for health care monitoring. The family of a child who has suffered these injuries and whose mother used Zoloft while she was pregnant may want to obtain counsel and pursue the compensation to which they may very well be entitled.
Based on the findings of a study published in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration directed Pfizer and the other SSRI manufacturers to "change prescribing information to describe the potential risk for PPHN," a life-threatening neonatal lung condition that, according to the FDA, "is associated with significant morbidity and mortality."
Medical College of Wisconsin researchers, writing for the April 2013 edition of the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, explained that "about 10-50 percent of the victims will die of the problem and 7-20 percent of the survivors develop long-term impairments such as hearing deficit, chronic lung disease, and intracranial bleed."
PPHN is not all there is to Zoloft's risk profile. Zoloft also has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects such as an "omphalocele, anal atresia, limb-reduction defects, cardiac septal defects and anencephaly," according to the findings of a 2012 study out of Finland.
The FDA approved Zoloft in 1991. For a generation, pregnant women, some of whom have filed Zoloft class action lawsuits, used the drug without warning of the serious Zoloft side effects.
The Zoloft attorneys at Reich & Binstock have specialized skill in representing victims in complex pharmaceutical injury litigation. They have the expertise which mothers want on their side as they seek compensation for neonatal injuries. The consultation, during which an attorney analyzes the situation and determines whether there is a viable Zoloft class action lawsuit, is free of charge.
Reich & Binstock, which operates in every state, may be reached either toll-free at 1-866-LAW-2400 or online by using the simple electronic case evaluation request form posted on this website.