Mother Files Zoloft Side Effects Lawsuit on Daughter’s Behalf
Michigan resident Loreal Madison has filed a multi-count complaint against drug giant Pfizer in federal court to recover damages for her six-year old daughter. Madison’s daughter, identified in the complaint as “S.R.M.,” was born with multiple congenital birth defects due to her exposure to Zoloft while in the womb. Though Madison used Zoloft as directed by her physician during her pregnancy in 2006, neither she nor her doctor was aware that the medication posed significant risks to unborn children.
Her June 1, 2012 complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Zoloft lawsuit alleges that Pfizer knew of these risks, but failed to adequately warn patients or medical professionals of the dangers posed by its product.
Label failed to warn of known risks of Zoloft birth defects
Zoloft (setraline hydrochloride) is in the class of pharmaceuticals known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is designed to boost the level of serotonin in the brain and alleviate the symptoms of depression and other psychological conditions. Other commonly prescribed SSRIs include Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, and Fluoxentine.
Longstanding medical evidence suggests that SSRIs, including Zoloft, pose significant risks for fetal development. A 1996 article in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “Birth Outcomes in Pregnant Women Taking Fluoxtenine” reported that mothers exposed to SSRIs late in their pregnancies showed significantly higher rates of prematurity, poor neonatal adaptation, significantly lower mean birth weight and length, and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (Zoloft PPHN).
Pfizer’s own preclinical animal studies, conducted before Zoloft was approved by the FDA in 1991, reportedly revealed significant harm to fetuses when Zoloft was administered during pregnancy, including cardiac malformations and fetal mortality.
Plaintiff’s Zoloft lawyers seek multiple, including punitive, damages
Madison’s Zoloft lawyers point out, however, that despite this evidence Pfizer continues to inadequately warn pregnant women of the risk of Zoloft birth defects. Madison is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages on her daughter’s behalf