New Birth Injury Lawsuit Filed Over Zoloft

Illinois mothers should be aware that lawsuits continue to be filed alleging a link between the use of Zoloft during pregnancy and severe birth injuries.

On July 5, a new lawsuit was filed as part of the growing Zoloft multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding in federal court in Pennsylvania before Judge Cynthia Rufe. The complaint alleges that the minor plaintiff suffered several birth defects when he was born in 2002, because of his mother’s use of the antidepressant while she was pregnant. The lawsuit was filed against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, and Greenstone, LLC.

According to the lawsuit, the mother took Zoloft throughout her pregnancy and was not informed of the possible side effects for her child. The child was born with a Type 1 laryngeal cleft, which has required tube feedings and will likely require lifelong medical treatment. The child was also born with other congenital birth defects.

The complaint alleges that Pfizer knew that Zoloft crosses the placenta and poses a danger to the developing fetus. The lawsuit cites a study from the New England Journal of Medicine that examined the risks of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as Zoloft, during pregnancy. The 1996 study found significantly higher rates of low birth weight, prematurity and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn were associated with mothers who took SSRIs late in their pregnancy.

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