Mother Blames Pfizer for Daughter’s Zoloft Omphalocele
Indiana resident Sarah Strycker, individually and as mother of the minor child, A.P., filed a new Zoloft birth defects lawsuit on June 27, 2012. The case was originally pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, but was later transferred on August 23, 2012, to the current Zoloft MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Zoloft birth defects lawsuit claims omphalocele
Strycker claims that prior to and throughout her pregnancy, she took Zoloft for depression. On June 30, 2010, she gave birth to her daughter, A.P., in Indiana. Shortly after the birth, Strycker was told that her daughter had omphalocele.
Omphalocele is a congenital malformation in which some or all of the internal abdominal organs, including the small and/or large intestine, stomach, and even liver, are pushed out into the base of the umbilical cord. The infant actually has a hole in the center of the abdomen, where the belly button would normally be.
As a result of these Zoloft side effects, A.P. required dietary modifications and special monitoring by her pediatrician and may require surgical intervention in the future. Since her birth, she has had to undergo treatment and diagnostic testing to correct and treat her abdominal wall defect.
According to her Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, A.P. has and will suffer physically, mentally and emotionally from her defects; will have to endure hospitalizations, surgeries, exams, and testing; and will be deprived of living a normal life.
Studies illustrate link between Zoloft and infant Zoloft side effects
The FDA approved Zoloft for the treatment of depression in 1991. By 2005, it was the most prescribed antidepressant drug in the U.S. In June 2006, the patent expired and the drug became available in generic form.
Strycker claims that prior to her pregnancy, Pfizer knew that Zoloft could cause Zoloft side effects in newborn children. She cites several studies that linked the antidepressant with birth defects. For example, a 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed early exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, including Zoloft, had a significant association with anencephaly (a skull defect), craniosynostosis (another skull defect), and omphalocele.
Strycker adds, “Additional studies were published in 2007 and later that examined birth defects that occurred when mothers ingested Zoloft during pregnancy. These included a statistically significant almost six-fold risk of a baby being born with omphalocele.” In 2009, the British Medical Journal published a study that found Zoloft carried an increased risk for congenital heart defects, as well as an increased risk for malformations such as cranial malformations.
Plaintiff seeks compensation for Zoloft birth defects
Strycker seeks to hold Pfizer liable for failing to include stronger warnings regarding the association between Zoloft and congenital birth defects and other related conditions. She adds that considering all the evidence, Pfizer “had a duty to conduct post-marketing studies to evaluate fully the significance of these studies. Pfizer breached that duty.”
The Zoloft birth defects lawsuit brings counts of design and manufacturing defect, failure to warn, breach of warranties, negligence and negligent misrepresentation, and fraud. The plaintiff seeks compensatory, special, and punitive damages.