Missouri Lawsuit Transferred to Zoloft MDL
On July 16, 2012, Tyreke Reese’s lawsuit was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to the Zoloft MDL headquartered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). The plaintiff had first filed her case on June 19, 2012, but her Zoloft lawyer petitioned for the complaint to be transferred, explaining that it involved “questions of fact that are common to the actions previously transferred.”
Plaintiff allegedly born with Zoloft birth defects
Zoloft, known generically as sertraline, is an antidepressant medication in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug class. On December 30, 1991, the FDA approved Zoloft to treat major depressive disorder (MDD); it was later approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, acute post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
According to her Zoloft lawsuit, Plaintiff Reese was born with birth defects as a result of her mother having taken Zoloft during pregnancy. Reese suffers from atrial septal defect (ASD) and other conditions that are allegedly attributed to Zoloft use during pregnancy.
As a result of her Zoloft birth defects, Reese has required surgery, extensive medical treatment, and medical monitoring throughout her life. Her complaint states that, prior to her mother’s pregnancy, manufacturer Pfizer knew or should have known of the risk of birth defects, including congenital Zoloft heart defects like ASD.
Zoloft lawyer: Pfizer was aware of problems, concealed risks
According to Reese’s Zoloft lawyer, “Pfizer knew from preclinical studies and subsequent published studies that dangerous birth defects were associated with Zoloft use during pregnancy. Pfizer took no action to properly study Zoloft and/or did not properly publish the results of studies that it did conduct, which would have reflected the increased risks. Pfizer failed to adequately warn or remedy the risks and, instead, concealed, suppressed, and failed to disclose the dangers. Despite the studies, Pfizer continues to deny these dangers.”
Reese’s complaint charges Pfizer with defective design, negligence, and fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment, including the allegation that Pfizer concealed the risk of birth defects with the active intent to deceive patients, including Reese’s mother, to take their product during pregnancy.
Through her Zoloft lawyer, Reese requests punitive and compensatory damages, and also asks for legal costs, interest, and such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.
Reese’s Zoloft lawsuit approved for transfer to MDL
On April 17, 2012, the JPML established Zoloft multidistrict litigation and originally consolidated nine civil actions; an additional 47 actions soon followed.
On July 13, 2012, Reese’s lawsuit was given a conditional transfer order to the MDL, and on July 16, 2012, Reese’s complaint was transferred to multidistrict litigation (MDL) headquartered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where Judge Cynthia M. Rufe presides.