Drug manufacturing giant Pfizer is at the center of another lawsuit. According to reports, the drug Zoloft, known as sertraline in generic form, may have caused the untimely death of a newborn infant. When filing their wrongful death lawsuit, the Illinois parents were forced to file in a court in Pennsylvania due to the multidistrict litigation status of the case against Pfizer. Multidistrict litigations often occur in product liability suits involving many plaintiffs and they tend to be used as an alternative to class-action lawsuits.
In the case of the deceased infant, the parents allege that the mother’s use of Zoloft while pregnant caused several complications to appear in their son. Before the young child passed away, he suffered from syndactyly and hypoplastic left heart syndrome. According to the suit, these conditions were what caused his death and both were attributed to the son’s exposure to the Pfizer drug before his birth.
According to attorneys for plaintiffs in the MDL, the manufacturer had a duty to consumers to maintain accurate warnings for the medical community, allowing physicians to pass on word of any changes in the prescription drug’s safety to patients that were prescribed Zoloft. Plaintiffs allege that Pfizer was aware of the complications its drug was causing to developing fetuses in pregnant women. According to suits, the defendants failed to inform the FDA, consumers and the medical community about the side effects seen in newborns. Such effects include the birth defects seen in the aforementioned couple’s son, as well as other congenital issues.
Allegations in other suits have indicated that the inserts included with sertraline contained incorrect statements that omitted some of the safety issues with the drug.
The parents of the infant are seeking medical expenses, actual damages, general damages, economic damages and special damages. They have accused Pfizer of breach of warranties, wrongful death, loss of consortium, design defect and negligence. Several other accusations have also been made.
Source: Injury Lawyer News, “Zoloft Side Effects Alleged to Result in Death of Infant,” Perry Larkin, Jan. 3, 2013