Pfizer Archives - Carey Danis & Lowe

First Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit to Go to Trial: What Pfizer Knew

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Zoloft MDL Updates: Zoloft MDL No. 2342 Progresses with Order to Submit Initial Discovery Zoloft Birth Defect CasesPfizer knew about the link between Zoloft use during pregnancy and birth defects in newborn babies. However, they decided to ignore this crucial patient safety information. A lawyer in the first Zoloft birth defects lawsuit to go to trial shared this with the jury during closing arguments in a state court in St. Louis on April 17, 2015.

The lawyer pointed specifically to an internal document dating before 1991 that included the recommendation that women able to become pregnant shouldn’t use Zoloft due to birth defect risks.

Furthermore, the lawyer argued that, even with knowledge of Zoloft and birth defects risks, Pfizer made no move to issue a sufficient warning. Pfizer didn’t update Zoloft’s drug safety label; therefore, doctors and patients were left in the dark about the dangers of Zoloft use during pregnancy.

The lawyer represents the plaintiffs in the case, the Pesante family, whose son was born with heart defects after his mother consumed Zoloft during pregnancy.

The son’s heart defects required three open-heart surgeries. Only a month after being born, the boy received a pacemaker.

In a Bloomberg article about the Zoloft trial, the defendants argued in their closing statement that Pfizer did issue warnings, and that these warnings were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Now, it is up to the jury to decide if Pfizer did indeed issue a sufficient warning, or if the company should be held liable for the harm done to the Pesante family and their son.

We can help your family

Carey Danis & Lowe is a St. Louis law firm that currently represents families whose children have been harmed by Zoloft in the womb. Our defective drug lawyers work tirelessly to recover losses for our clients.

If you would like to discuss your case with us, we are available by phone at 800.721.2519; you can also reach us by completing a confidential personal injury claim form.

We offer free case evaluations, and can help you decide if filing a Zoloft lawsuit is the right decision for you and your family.



The Link between Zoloft and Birth Defects

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Zoloft MDL Updates: Zoloft MDL No. 2342 Progresses with Order to Submit Initial Discovery Zoloft Birth Defect CasesAt the first trial of 1000+ Zoloft birth defects lawsuits, the plaintiff’s legal team presented evidence that Pfizer researchers knew that pregnant women using Zoloft risked having babies with heart defects.

Zoloft is the most popular antidepressant on the market.

Pfizer overlooked internal red flags about possible birth defects to preserve billions in the sales of Zoloft, say families suing the drug giant. Pfizer didn’t use this research to caution doctors and patients about the risk, said the plaintiff’s lawyer at state court in St. Louis.

Zoloft Studies

A New England Journal of Medicine study in 2007 documented that pregnant women on Zoloft had double the risk of having a child with a birth defect.

According to Pfizer’s study, risks to newborns range from atrial septal defect, heart disease, growth retardation, omphalocele (newborns’ organs are outside their body), and persistent pulmonary hypertension.

The plaintiff in the case, Logan Pesante, whose mother took Zoloft while Logan was in the womb, has had three open heart surgeries to fix defects. The now 11-year old continues to suffer from lingering issues stemming from the defects.

The Pesantes and their lawyers argue that Pfizer needs to be held liable for failure to clearly warn physicians and patients about Zoloft’s increased risk of birth defects on the drug’s label and in marketing materials.

Legal Assistance

When drug makers don’t warn about a drug’s hazards, innocent consumers can suffer devastating effects. Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to test their products for health risks and advise the public. When they fall down in these duties, they face legal liability for the harm they cause.

If your baby has suffered heart wrenching pain due to a birth defect caused by Zoloft, Carey Danis & Lowe can help you. Our attorneys will assist in determining your eligibility to receive compensation for you and your baby. Our experienced lawyers are compassionate, knowledgeable and determined.

Carey Danis & Lowe is dedicated to representing individuals harmed by corporate abuse and neglect. Please call today for a free consultation—800.721.2519, or send us an email.

Zoloft Lawsuit News: Injured Parties Continue to File Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

zoloft_heart_birth_defect_ssri_pregnancyAs a national law firm representing individuals in Zoloft birth defects lawsuits, Carey Danis & Lowe has closely been watching for news and updates in Zoloft lawsuits. Earlier this month, a plaintiff filed a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court in Illinois claiming that her child was born with congenital heart defects. The plaintiff filed her Zoloft lawsuit citing that the maker of Zoloft, Pfizer, did not provide adequate warning about the risks associated with Zoloft use during pregnancy.

In response to the lawsuit, a Pfizer spokesperson was quoted in the Madison-St. Clair Record as saying that the pharmaceutical company intends to defend itself against the charges.

 Zoloft Birth Defects Background

In a study published in 2007 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers concluded that taking Zoloft (sertraline) during the first trimester of pregnancy led to two times the risk of the baby being born with a heart defect, especially a hole in the heart. In addition, the study found that the risk of a baby developing omphalocele was 5.7 times higher when exposed to Zoloft in the womb.

An atrial septal defect, also called a hole in the heart, is marked by an atypical hole between the heart’s two upper chambers. In newborn babies who develop a ventricular septal defect, a hole exists between between the heart’s two lower chambers. Omphalocele is a birth defect in which the newborn baby’s abdominal organs protrude from the belly button.

Carey Danis & Lowe Zoloft birth defects lawyers are currently taking Zoloft birth defects cases. For a free legal evaluation of your case and for assistance with filing a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, contact Carey Danis & Lowe by calling 800.721.2519 or by submitting a personal injury claim form.

Carey Danis & Lowe Evaluating Zoloft Cases and Offers an Update on Zoloft Lawsuits in Zoloft MDL No. 2342

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Published January 14, 2013 by PR Web

St. Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) January 14, 2013

Zoloft MDL Updates: Zoloft MDL No. 2342 Progresses with Order to Submit Initial Discovery Zoloft Birth Defect CasesZoloft lawsuits have been consolidated into a Multi-District Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Cynthia M. Rufe is presiding over the Zoloft MDL.

As to recent developments in the Zoloft MDL, on January 2, 2013, Judge Rufe sent forth Pretrial Order No. 16. Fundamentally, the Pretrial Order outlines how to deliver responses in the MDL. The court document imparts detailed information as to “the procedure for filing responses to all civil actions that are or become consolidated in MDL No. 2342”.*

The Pretrial Order goes on to supply information on how the defendants, Pfizer Inc., Greenstone LLC, and Pfizer International LLC, shall go about filing a Master Short-Form Answer. In essence, the Master-Short Form Answer and Affirmative Defense is the defendants’ response to the claims of the plaintiffs.

According to the Pretrial Order, the Defendants will only have the opportunity to file one Master Short-Form Answer, and in doing so can address any and all charges made against them in each of the cases consolidated in the Zoloft MDL. As the document will stand as their initial response to allegations, Pfizer and Greenstone can deny the plaintiffs’ allegations, and in so doing, they can lay out a defense.

If relying upon information supplied in a recent report, there are quite a number of Zoloft cases in the MDL, and therefore each of these cases will necessitate address in the defense’s response. A Florida attorney who sits on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), Bryan F. Aylstock, recently submitted a report late last year regarding the status of the Zoloft MDL. The legal journal, The Madison-St. Clair Record, stated that according to information contained in Alystock’s report, there are over 250 cases that have been consolidated into the Zoloft MDL.*

Plaintiffs in the Zoloft MDL have filed lawsuits against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, claiming that the antidepressant drug, classified as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI), causes birth defects in newborn children when taken by women during pregnancy.

In a separate Zoloft lawsuit being heard in the Wayne County Circuit Court in West Virginia, nineteen plaintiffs, who are the children of mothers who claimed to have taken Zoloft during pregnancy, filed their lawsuit alleging that exposure to Zoloft in the womb resulted in the development of their birth defects.

According to the legal journal, The West Virginia Record, the plaintiffs identified these Zoloft linked birth defects as heart defects, such as atrial septal defects and holes in the heart, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), skull and facial deformations, and a number of other congenital birth defects related to Zoloft exposure in utero.*

Lawyers at Carey Danis & Lowe are currently evaluating Zoloft cases, and they are offering legal consultations to those individuals who claim to have been harmed by the use of Zoloft during pregnancy. For more information about filing a Zoloft lawsuit, and specifically one related to Zoloft and birth defects, contact a lawyer at Carey Danis & Lowe by calling 800-721-2519.

Zoloft MDL No. 2342 Progresses with Order to Submit Initial Discovery Zoloft Birth Defect Cases

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Zoloft MDL Updates: Zoloft MDL No. 2342 Progresses with Order to Submit Initial Discovery Zoloft Birth Defect CasesThe Zoloft Multi-District Litigation No. 2342 being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has made progress as regards setting the date for the first trial. According to Pre-trial Court Order 15, the first trial is currently scheduled for September 12, 2014. This is a tentative date that is dependent upon completion of all pertinent discovery by both sides.

This same court document from the Zoloft MDL details that by January 11, 2013, both the Defense and the Plaintiff’s counsel must deliver selections pertaining to Initial Discovery Group Cases, which will help in determining which cases enter the Trial Pool Cases.

The court has ordered that selections of cases that are representative enough for Trial Pool Cases should be supplied to the court by March 15, 2013.

According to a December 2012 article published by The Madison Record, there are currently 250 Zoloft cases that have been consolidated into the Pennsylvania MDL. What is more, there remain a number of Zoloft lawsuits pending in state courts that have not yet been consolidated into the MDL. State courts hearing these Zoloft lawsuits include Illinois, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Plaintiffs in the Zoloft MDL claim that the use of Zoloft during pregnancy resulted in the development of birth defects in newborn children. These Zoloft birth defects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Atrial septal defects
  • Ventricular septal defects
  • Omphalocele
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

Zoloft is an anti-depressant drug manufactured by Pfizer. Zoloft is categorized as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or SSRI. These types of antidepressants have a strong link to the development of birth defects in children exposed to an SSRI drug while in the womb.

If your newborn child was exposed to the SSRI medication Zoloft while in the womb, and as a result, developed life-altering and health compromising birth defects, you and your child may be entitled to receive recompense for your physical suffering, emotional suffering, and medical expenses.

For more information about filing a Zoloft birth defect lawsuit, contact an experienced trial lawyer at Carey Danis & Lowe. Our pharmaceutical product liability lawyers will provide you with a free legal consultation about your Zoloft case. Call a Zoloft lawyer at Carey Danis & Lowe today at 800.721.2519.

Zoloft Multi-district Litigation Status Conference Scheduled In Pennsylvania

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Published May 29, 2012 by LawsuitInformation.org

Zoloft Multi-district Litigation Status Conference In PennsylvaniaFederal lawsuits dealing with birth defects stemming from the popular antidepressant Zoloft were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on the 17th of April, 2012. The first status conference, according to an order issued on the 4th of May by presiding District Judge Cynthia M. Rowley, is scheduled for the 12th of July, 2012.

These lawsuits all have several things in common, including the defendant—Pfizer, the drug making giant responsible for the popular antidepressant Zoloft, which is an SSRI drug used in the treatment of general anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and other relatively common psychological conditions. The lawsuits also all deal with Zoloft birth defects.

Birth defects common Zoloft lawsuit complaint

Thousands of parents have filed lawsuits across the country after mothers have given birth to children with serious birth defects as a result of their Zoloft use during pregnancy. In many cases, the mothers say they were led to believe that the drug was safe to use, and that they would never have taken it had they known of the risk of potential serious side effects associated with the medications. Their lawyers often claim that the drug makers didn’t adequately conduct clinical trials on the medication before releasing it to the pharmaceuticals market, nor did they adequately warn patients about the risk of these side effects.

The multidistrict litigation case was consolidated in order to streamline pretrial processes dealing with these lawsuits, which will help them be completed more quickly, getting plaintiffs settlements faster. When pretrial processes are completed, many of the lawsuits will be remanded, or sent back to the courts from which they came. At the initial meeting that was recently scheduled, it is likely that each party involved in the litigation will suggest procedures that will lead to the resolution of the litigation and help it move quickly and fairly.

Damages sought in Zoloft lawsuits

Plaintiffs who have filed a Zoloft lawsuit have a lot in common, including a desire for compensation that could cover the costs of their or their child’s past and future medical care. Inclusion in the federal multidistrict litigation case could really help to expedite the legal process for a number of plaintiffs. Studies backing up the claim that Zoloft use by pregnant women could cause birth defects are being cited in these lawsuits, and the combination of several Zoloft cases could help to strengthen the suits even more.

Zoloft Lawsuit Underscores Parents’ Heartbreak

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Posted March 18, 2012 on LawsuitInformation.org

St. Louis, MO: The recent filing of a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit underscores the pain, heartbreak and frustration evident in the plaintiffs—parents of innocent children who came into the world saddled with life-altering defects allegedly at the behest of the SSRI antidepressant, Zoloft.

It is no secret that antidepressants have been a success for pharmaceutical companies. They also represent important options in the tool belts and treating protocols of psychiatrists and medical doctors, for the treatment of depression.

However, the link between Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and birth defects, such as Zoloft cleft palate, have driven the parents of 18 children suffering from Zoloft defects to the courts.

Reuters reports that the lawsuit filed by plaintiff Shainyah Lancaster et al last month in St. Louis, accuses Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer of suppressing information to the medical community and the public at large as to the risks associated with Zoloft when used by women of childbearing age. The lawsuit further alleges that Pfizer knew or should have known of the existence of SSRI studies, which suggested a greater risk of congenital birth defects in concert with a Zoloft pregnancy.

The Zoloft birth defects lawsuit further alleges that Pfizer was aware that Zoloft was being prescribed to pregnant women by their doctors, but that Pfizer failed to warn the medical community about the risks.

Zoloft has been the center of controversy for some time. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, took Pfizer to task for promoting Zoloft for unapproved uses. In a statement released in October 1996, Wolfe referenced a communiqué directed to Pfizer from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August of that year, chastising Pfizer for promoting Zoloft for use in cardiac patients with depression, amongst other unapproved uses.

More recently, Peter Breggin MD, blogging in the Huffington Post on June 28, 2007, noted the spin that often accompanies the release of data. He noted that headlines and media reports surrounding the release of data from a 2007 study seemed to downplay the risks associated with SSRI drugs—Zoloft among them—even though, according to Breggin, “several severe birth defects were doubled or nearly tripled in frequency when SSRIs were taken in the first trimester. This combined with the other known toxic effects of SSRIs, including brain damage and dysfunction, make these drugs contraindicated in pregnancy.”

One of those defects—Zoloft craniosynostosis—was described in Dr. Breggin’s blog post as “the premature closing of one or more sutures or fibrous joints knitting the bones of the infant’s skull.” He noted that craniosynostosis occurs in about four per 10,000 births according to the National Institutes of Health. “A 2.8 times greater occurrence of this condition will cause 2,305 more US babies to be born each year with this birth defect as a result of their mothers taking SSRIs in the first trimester of pregnancy.”

The particular afflictions of the 18 children who allegedly suffer from Zoloft birth defects were not identified in the news reports. However, regardless of the defect suffered by the Zoloft child—Zoloft PPHN, cleft palate or Zoloft heart defects—it is assumed that their parents are facing a lifetime of stormy seas as the result of having a Zoloft newborn. As Zoloft parents face reality, they equally expect Pfizer to face the music.

Zoloft Side Effects – Birth Defects in Detail

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Published April 20, 2012 on LawsuitInformation.org

Side effects from Zoloft, a brand name antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may cause life-altering and potentially life-threatening side effects / birth defects for newborns of women who took the drug during pregnancy. If your child has been harmed, contact Carey Danis & Lowe immediately. We represent hundreds of families that have been affected by Zoloft Birth Defects.

If you are looking for a compassionate law firm that is experienced with defective drugs and the adverse effects of Zoloft, contact us. Our PPHN lawyers are investigating the dangers of this drug and the possible link to the birth defect PPHN (Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns). We are here to answer any questions you may have and help you navigate through the process of filing a Zoloft lawsuit.


Newborns exposed to Zoloft and other SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy are at risk of developing several different kinds of side effects (birth defects), including neural tube defects, cleft lip, PPHN side effects, and heart defects. Keep reading to review a complete list of the potentially dangerous side effects caused by Zoloft in newborns.

Neural Tube Defect Side Effects:

Neural tube birth defects affect the brain and spinal cord. Also called cleft spine or open spine, it is the underdevelopment of the fetal spinal column (neural tube). In an embryo, this region begins as a flat surface, and about 28 days after conception, the flat region rolls into a tube. Neural tube defects occur when this tube does not close completely, leaving an opening at the skull or vertebrae. Neural tube defects cause paralysis, incontinence, learning difficulties, loss of sensation in parts of the body, developmental delays, lack of coordination, and lack of concentration.

Omphalocele Side Effects:

An omphalocele is a birth defect caused by underdeveloped abdominal wall muscles that leaves an opening in the midgut. It causes the intestines and other organs, covered only by a thin sac, to protrude outside of this opening. While the problem can typically be corrected with surgery, many newborns with omphalocele will have additional serious side effects, including heart defects. Some of these side effects can be potentially fatal.

Cleft Lip Side Effects:

A cleft lip is a birth defect where the lip does not fuse properly during the early stages of fetal development. This side effect is characterized by a vertical fissure in one or both sides of the upper lip causes a number of difficulties, including problems with feeding, missing or malformed teeth, speech and language delay, chronic ear infections, hearing loss, and socialization.

Cleft Palate Side Effects:

A cleft palate is a birth defect in which the roof of the mouth fails to close completely in utero (at about the 6th to 9th week of pregnancy), and as a result, connects the mouth directly with the nasal cavity. Infants with a cleft palate often struggle with serious complications, including recurring ear infections, hearing loss, feeding difficulties, missing or misaligned teeth, and delays in speech and language development.

Craniosynostosis Side Effects:

Craniosynostosis is a side effect characterized by the premature fusion of an infant’s cranial sutures, the joints between the bones of the skull. The elasticity of the cranium is essential in the skull’s ability to expand in order to accommodate normal brain growth. Because the suture(s) close early, it constricts the growth of the skull (as well as the brain) and results in an abnormally shaped head. Besides irregular appearance, infants with craniosynostosis side effects may also suffer from increased intracranial pressure, seizures, and developmental delays.

Heart Defect Side Effects:

Heart defect side effects involve the structure of the heart or the blood vessels surrounding the heart. It can either obstruct blood flow in the heart or cause irregular blood flow through the heart. While some heart defects are minor and require little to no treatment, others are life-threatening and require immediate medical care in order to avoid severe consequences.

Limb Defect Side Effects:

Congenital limb defects are side effects characterized by the improper formation of an entire limb, or portion of a limb, in utero. Limb defects can involve the hand, arm, foot, leg, toes or fingers, and can present as undergrowth, overgrowth, complete absence, duplication, webbing, or as a constricting band syndrome (premature rupture of the amniotic sac that causes membranes or bands to entangle the fetus, which cuts off blood flow and tissue growth). One of the most common limb defects is club foot, a side effect in which a child is born with one or both feet smaller than normal and internally rotated at the ankle.

PPHN Side Effects:

PPHN, or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, is a side effect that causes high blood pressure in the lungs, which keeps the lungs from relaxing to allow blood to flow through properly. As a result, oxygen does not reach the bloodstream when the child breathes. Even with treatment, an infant with PPHN may continue to receive an insufficient amount of oxygen to his or her vital organs and tissues. This can potentially result in shock, seizures, heart failure, multiple organ failure, and even death.

Anal Atresia Side Effects:

Anal atresia, also referred to as imperforate anus or anal rectal malformation, is a side effect which can cause the following complications: the opening to the rectum does not properly connect to the colon; the rectum may have openings to the urethra, the bladder, the vagina, penis or scrotum; or the anus may be narrowed or missing. Although most infants with anal atresia make a full recovery after surgery, others may continue to suffer from difficulties like bowel control, constipation, and intestinal blockage. Other affected infants may experience additional side effects, particularly those of the genitals, spine or urinary tract.

Distributor Removed from Zoloft Lawsuit

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Published April 20, 2012 on Injury Lawyer News

A distributor of Zoloft has been removed from a California lawsuit that alleges the drug caused Zoloft birth defects in her son. The Court of the Central District of California ruled that plaintiffs Lisa and Jacob Gray did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that the drug distribution company McKesson failed to warn patients about the side effects of Zoloft. The decision could impact future Zoloft lawsuits, as plaintiffs may have to reconsider naming drug distributors in these types of claims.

Child’s Zoloft birth defects could have been prevented if company’s had properly warned, lawsuit says

In the lawsuit, Lisa Gray claims that she was treated with the popular SSRI antidepressant Zoloft while she was pregnant with her son, Jacob. Jacob was born with a condition called coarctation of the aorta, a condition in which blood flow is restricted to the heart. He had to undergo surgery when he was born, and also at two years old, in order to treat the problem. Gray alleges that Pfizer (the company that manufactures Zoloft) and affiliated companies that participate in sales, marketing and distribution of Zoloft knowingly hid information relating to the severity of Zoloft side effects.

Research shows the side effects of Zoloft can be serious

In the last few years, many studies have been released indicating Zoloft may adversely affect people’s hearts. A 2007 British Medical Journal study showed that the likelihood of a child being born with heart defects was twice as much in women who took Zoloft while pregnant, than women who did not take the SSRI. A 2008 Duke University study of heart disease patients suggested that Zoloft may also adversely affect adults’ hearts.

There have been a number of Zoloft lawsuits filed recently relating to heart defects and other Zoloft health complications. The removal of McKesson from Gray’s lawsuit produces yet another hurdle for Zoloft lawyers seeking justice for their injured clients.

St. Louis-based Carey Danis & Lowe Announces Suit Against the Maker of Zoloft Sent Back to St. Louis Circuit Court

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Posted April 11, 2012

Pfizer’s attempt to litigate lawsuit in federal court rebuffed

ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–St. Louis–based law firm Carey Danis & Lowe announces a lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), maker of the antidepressant drug Zoloft, that was originally filed in St. Louis Circuit Court then removed to federal court by the drugmaker, has been ordered back to the state court.

The lawsuit, Shainyah Lancaster, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., cause no. 1222-CC00766, was filed on Feb. 2 in St. Louis Circuit Court on behalf of 21 children born with defects after their mothers were prescribed Zoloft while pregnant. The suit was brought on behalf of the plaintiffs by the law firms of Carey Danis & Lowe; Matthews & Associates; Freese & Goss; and Clark, Burnett, Love & Lee.

On March 8, Pfizer removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri alleging that diversity of citizenship existed between the plaintiffs and the defendant. The lawyers representing the plaintiffs opposed the effort to remove the case to federal court. (S.L., et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., Case 4:12-cv-00420).

On April 4, U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson sided with the plaintiffs and ruled that the federal court did not have jurisdiction over the lawsuit because complete diversity of citizenship did not exist, granted the plaintiffs’ motion to remand and sent the case back to St. Louis Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Zoloft (generic name sertraline) belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The suit notes that SSRIs have been found to cause severe birth defects in the children of women who were prescribed the drug while pregnant and alleges that Pfizer knew or should have known that children born to mothers who had taken SSRIs during pregnancy had a greater risk of congenital birth defects and that despite knowing that physicians were prescribing Zoloft to women of childbearing age, Pfizer failed to adequately warn the medical community and the public of the danger.

The lawsuit asserts state law claims against Pfizer of negligence; negligence of pharmacovigilance, which requires Pfizer to monitor safety data for its drugs; strict liability; negligent design; failure to warn; and fraud. The suit seeks actual and punitive damages.

Founded in 1995, Carey Danis & Lowe has offices in Missouri and Illinois. The firm handles personal injury, pharmaceutical liability, product liability, medical malpractice, class action and commercial cases throughout the United States.