One Grieving Family Hopes for Zoloft Lawsuit Settlement
In late 2009, a Zoloft lawyer filed a Zoloft lawsuit in Denton County, Texas, claiming that Zoloft was to blame for a murder-suicide committed by a wife and mother who had taken the antidepressant. Whether or not this lawsuit will result in a Zoloft lawsuit settlement remains to be seen. The plaintiff’s case will have to meet certain criteria.
Parents file Zoloft lawsuit
On July 24, 2007, Andrea Roberts, a 41-year old resident of Flower Mound, Texas, purchased a new bottle of Zoloft from her local pharmacy. The lawsuit doesn’t state how long Mrs. Roberts had been taking the antidepressant, but one week after she picked up this particular prescription, she shot and killed her two children, Mecayla and Dylan; her husband, Michael; and then turned the gun on herself.
Mrs. Roberts’ parents, Glenda and John Robert McCoy, along with her brother, John Andrew McCoy, filed a Zoloft lawsuit against the manufacturer, Pfizer. According to the complaint, Mrs. Roberts became paranoid and delusional in the days leading up to the tragedy, with Zoloft allegedly worsening her condition to the point of homicidal thinking. They also claim that Pfizer failed to adequately warn about the risks—the label mentions children and teens having an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, but not adults.
Criteria for Zoloft lawsuit settlements out of court
An out-of-court settlement occurs when the two parties agree to a resolution before going to court, or before the court renders a final decision in a case. Pfizer has already agreed to out-of-court Zoloft lawsuit settlements in many other Zoloft lawsuits filed by the families of those who committed suicide after taking the drug. Whether or not such a settlement will take place in this case will depend on a few key things.
First of all, the family will have to prove that Mrs. Roberts was, indeed, taking Zoloft at the time of the incident. Medical records, pharmacy receipts, and a doctor’s testimony can all help establish that fact. Second, the court will look at the severity of the injury. Obviously, in a case such as this, the severity is high. The jury will consider such things as the impact on the extended family, the pain and suffering involved, etc.
Third, and probably most importantly, can the plaintiff prove that Zoloft was a causal factor in the incident? Many other Zoloft lawyers have managed to convince juries of that fact. The FDA has received numerous adverse event reports concerning Zoloft suicide and suicidal thoughts, and several scientific studies support the connection. The McCoy’s Zoloft lawyer will have to product adequate records, expert witnesses, and scientific support for this specific case, however.
Advantages of Zoloft lawsuit settlements
If a plaintiff meets these first three criteria to the jury’s satisfaction, a Zoloft lawsuit settlement is likely. Because court costs are expensive, many large companies prefer reaching an out-of-court agreement over going to trial. Such agreements also protect the company from additional negative publicity, and provide the injured parties with more immediate funds to help pay for funeral expenses, pain, and suffering.
In Mrs. Roberts’ case, Pfizer succeeded in having the case transferred to the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas in the fall of 2009. A suicide note left by Mrs. Roberts gave no indication of her motive.