July 25, 2013 — Pfizer Inc. is facing a Effexor birth defect lawsuit in Utah. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah on July 1. The plaintiff, Charity Block, is a mother who took Effexor during pregnancy and had a baby with multiple birth defects, including heart defects and abdominal defects.
According to the complaint (PDF), Block alleges that Effexor is:
“Defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed an sold in commerce, and lacked proper warnings as to the dangers associated with its use.”
Because Effexor is known to cross the placenta, Block maintains that the manufacturer of Effexor, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now owned by Pfizer), “knew or should have known that taking Effexor during pregnancy poses risks to the developing fetus.” Instead, they withheld, concealed, or misrepresented the risks to the medical community and the public, including the plaintiff and her doctors.
Block used Effexor while she was pregnant and had a baby on November 30, 2009. Her child was born with the following severe birth defects:
- Heart defects
- Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
- Central diaphragmatic hernia
- Hypoplastic lungs
- And more
In recent years, at least 14 Effexor birth defect lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer. As the number of cases continues to grow, lawyers are seeking to consolidate the lawsuits in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL).