The lawsuit was filed in 2011 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
The 8 year-old girl, Mia Robinson, was born with transposition of the great arteries, a condition that occurs when the two major arteries exiting the heart are switched.
Attorneys for the family said she had open-heart surgery before she was six months old and could incur $2.4 million in lifelong medical expenses.
The lawsuit accuses Pfizer of failing to adequately warn about the risk of birth defects. The label only recommends that women on Zoloft use contraceptives. According to attorneys for the Robinson family:
“This is a case about a company that knew their drug caused birth defects and chose not to tell doctors … You don’t tell someone to be on contraception if you don’t think there’s a risk to the unborn baby.”
This is the second trial involving birth defects from Zoloft. The first ended in a victory for Pfizer when a jury in St. Louis, Missouri decided not to award compensation for 11 year-old Logyn Pesante’s heart defects. However, the jury did not decide whether Zoloft caused his heart defects or if Pfizer failed to warn about the risk.
The outcomes will be closely watched because they may impact over 550 federal lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The first “bellwether” trial in that litigation is set for January 2016.