Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, has faced lawsuits from thousands of plaintiffs who have experienced damaging side effects from the drug.
Why File a Zoloft Lawsuit?
A number of lawsuits and a class-action suit were filed against Pfizer, the manufacturer of the antidepressant Zoloft, alleging that the medication caused birth defects, that information was withheld from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that patients were misled into buying the drug. Many of the lawsuits were dismissed or withdrawn, with judges holding that the plaintiffs failed to prove that Zoloft caused the birth defects. However, many have also been successful.
Many patients taking Zoloft while pregnant have filed lawsuits claiming that they were injured as a result of taking Pfizer’s drug. Specifically, they sued for birth defects they claim were caused by the drug, namely respiratory defects, heart defects, abdominal defects, skull defects, cleft palate, neural defects, autism, spina bifida, and club feet.
Zoloft is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for a number of psychiatric disorders. Part of its popularity is that it is supposedly "safer" than competing drugs. However, users have reported a number of very serious side effects that may leave those impacted eligible to file a Zoloft lawsuit.
Who Is Responsible for Zoloft Complications?
Litigation is properly filed against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft.
Zoloft was approved by the FDA in 1991. Over the years, Pfizer has been subject to hundreds of lawsuits claiming that the drug was potentially dangerous to unborn children, and that it was ineffective as a treatment for depression.
The rise in lawsuits — with more than 700 federal cases listed — led to multidistrict litigation (MDL) in 2012. MDL involves consolidating cases with similar legal issues to one court, where a judge familiar with the technical details of the case can rule on the them. This was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. By 2017, however, all MDL cases were either dismissed or withdrawn.
In 2013, a class-action lawsuit was filed in federal court in California alleging that Zoloft was ineffective in treating depression. However, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2014.
Similarly, Pfizer has won all of the court battles in state courts, where it was ruled that Pfizer was not legally liable for the birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken the medication. In 2017, a West Virginia judge dismissed two cases against Pfizer, finding that the manufacturer had not withheld information from the FDA.
Getting an Attorney who knows Zoloft
Zoloft is a powerful drug with many damaging side effects. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove that Zoloft was responsible for many of these side effects in an individual case, especially when it comes to the case of birth defects.
If you want to maximize the chances that your Zoloft lawsuit will be successful, you need to hire an attorney with experience in this type of litigation.
Last Edited: February 23, 2018
- Dye, J. (2016). Reuters: Pfizer beats hundreds of lawsuits alleging Zoloft birth defects. April 2016. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pfizer-lawsuit-zoloft/pfizer-beats-hundreds-of-lawsuits-alleging-zoloft-birth-defects-idUSKCN0X31PU
- Stempel, J. (2017). Reuters: Pfizer defeats appeals linking Zoloft to birth defects. June 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pfizer-lawsuit-zoloft/pfizer-defeats-appeals-linking-zoloft-to-birth-defects-idUSKBN18T1VZ
- Painter, K. (2015). USA Today. CDC: Some antidepressants, but not others, linked with birth defects. July 2015. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/08/antidepressant-birth-defect-study/29874089/
- Zoloft Litigation. (2017). In the Court Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia. Order Regarding Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. February 2017. http://www.courtswv.gov/lower-courts/mlp/mlp-orders/zoloft/motion-summary-judgment.pdf
- Rabin, R. (2014). New York Times Well Blog. September 2014. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/possible-risks-of-s-s-r-i-antidepressants-to-newborns/?_r=0
- College of Psychiatric and Neurological Pharmacists. (2007). Zoloft Fact Sheet. National Alliance of Mental Illness. May 2007. http://www.namihelps.org/assets/PDFs/fact-sheets/Medications/Zoloft.pdf