July 25, 2014 — The West Virginia Record reports that 13 new lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer Inc. by women who took Zoloft (sertraline) during pregnancy and had a baby with a birth defect.
The women accuse Pfizer of failing to adequately warn about evidence linking Zoloft and birth defects. They claim Zoloft is defective, dangerous to human health, unfit to be marketed, and lacks proper warnings about the dangers associated with its use.
Birth defects allegedly caused by Zoloft include:
- Atrial septal defect
- Holes in the heart
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
- Neural tube defects
- Craniofacial defects
- And more.
The lawsuits were filed on July 7 in Wayne Circuit Court. They are overseen by Judge James H. Young, Jr.
Pfizer is now facing more than 600 Zoloft lawsuits in state and federal courts around the United States. Nearly all of the cases were centralized in federal court in Illinois under U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. Dozens of cases remain in state courts in Alabama, California, Illinois, Missouri, and New York.
Several studies have linked the use of Zoloft with an increased risk of birth defects, especially “hole in the heart” defects. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning after Zoloft was linked to a six-fold increased risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN).