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Second Zoloft Birth Defect Trial Ends in Win for Pfizer


June 16, 2015 — For the second time in two months, Pfizer has been cleared of liability in a trial accusing the drug-maker of failing to adequately warn about the birth defect risks associated with taking Zoloft during pregnancy.

The Washington Post reports that a jury in Philadelphia was not convinced that Zoloft caused 8 year-old Mia Robinson to be born with severe heart defects.

Attorneys for the Robinson family argued that Pfizer knew about the risk, but did not provide any warnings about birth defects. As evidence, they presented documents from scientists at Pfizer who recommended clearer warnings on the label.

The jury disagreed, finding the label adequate because it asked doctors to carefully weigh the possible risks and benefits of prescribing Zoloft to pregnant women.

The Robinson family was seeking $2.4 million in damages for their daughter’s heart surgeries, ongoing medical care, and more.

Attorneys for Pfizer praised the verdict and said:

“Zoloft is an FDA-approved medicine for the treatment of depression and other psychiatric conditions that has been used by millions of patients, including pregnant women. There is extensive science supporting the safety and efficacy of Zoloft, and the medicine carries accurate, science-based and FDA-approved information on its benefits and risks.”

In April, a jury in St. Louis, Missouri also cleared Pfizer of wrongdoing in a similar lawsuit on behalf of a boy who was born with heart defects. One juror said, “There were so many unknowns that could have caused it.” Pfizer is still facing about 1,000 lawsuits with similar allegations, many of which have been centralized at the state or federal level.


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