South Dakota Parents File Birth Defects Lawsuit Against Maker of Zoloft
On May 15, 2012, Conor Heronimus, a minor, and his parents Andrea Heronimus and Jeffry D. Heronimus, filed a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. The plaintiffs, who are residents of South Dakota, name as defendants Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Wyeth LLC, Wyeth, et al., Pfizer, Inc., Greenstone et al., and Wolters Kluwer, et al. The lawsuit meets requirements for amount in controversy (exceeds $50,000) and diversity of citizenship, and on May 16 was removed to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), where it will join other Zoloft side effects lawsuits in multidistrict litigation.
Zoloft birth defects lawsuit charges intentional negligence and fraud
The Food and Drug administration (FDA) first approved Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride), a member of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug class, in 1991 for the treatment of major depression in adults. The Heronimus’ lawsuit states that under the FDA scheme, the defendants had a duty to ensure their warnings remained accurate and adequate, to conduct safety surveillance of adverse events for the drug, and to report any data related to the accuracy of the drug’s label warnings.
The Heronimus’ complaint alleges that manufacturer Pfizer failed to “fully, truthfully, and accurately disclose” the medication’s side effects. As a result, the plaintiffs allege that Pfizer “negligently, intentionally, and fraudulently” misled the medical community and consumers.
Anti-depressant associated with Zoloft PPHN and heart defects
Conor Heronimus was born on May 17, 2009 with congenital birth defects, heart defects, and other related conditions – the alleged result of his mother’s ingestion of Effexor and Zoloft during pregnancy. Andrea Heronimus claims that she relied on the fact that any birth defects and other serious pregnancy issues associated with Zoloft would have been listed on emphasized on the warning label or the information packet; the lack of such a warning led her and her physician to believe that Zoloft was safe for use during pregnancy and would not cause birth defects.
However, Zoloft has indeed been linked to congenital birth defects, including Zoloft PPHN, heart defects, and related conditions. Andrea Heronimus states that, had she been adequately warned of the risks, she would not have taken the drug during her pregnancy with Conor.
Plaintiffs seek economic relief of Zoloft side effects
The lawsuit charges the defendants with strict product liability, failure to warn, design defect, negligence, negligent design, fraud, misrepresentation and suppression, constructive fraud, breach of express and implied warranties, gross negligence and malice, loss of consortium and pecuniary loss. The defendants seek to recover medical and other expenses related to Conor’s treatment, and as such request general and special damages, including punitive damages, and other such relief as the court deems fit.