Florida resident files birth defect lawsuit against Pfizer

A resident of Florida has filed a birth defect lawsuit against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, an antidepressant. The plaintiff alleges that the drug caused her daughter to have a birth defect. The plaintiff further claims that Pfizer neglected to sufficiently test Zoloft as well as failed to warn consumers and physicians of the potential for birth defects. Instead, she alleges that Pfizer permitted Zoloft to be prescribed to pregnant women despite its knowledge of the drug’s serious side effects.

The plaintiff’s daughter was born with a number of birth defects, including the Zoloft birth defect called coarctation of the aorta, which is marked by a narrowing of the aorta, the blood vessel that extends from the heart and takes oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. This causes the heart to pump harder to compel the flow of blood through the narrow section of the aorta. It is a condition that is usually present at birth, and requires follow-up at infancy and through adulthood.

As a result of these birth defects, the plaintiff alleges that she and her daughter, who is now nine-years-old, have suffered physically and emotionally. In addition, her daughter is examined and tested by the doctor on a regular basis, and has been unable to have a normal childhood.

Since Zoloft was first made available to consumers in 1992, many studies have been conducted that have revealed birth defects. The New England Journal of Medicine published one such study that discovered that when pregnant women took Zoloft or similar drugs following the 20th week of pregnancy, the likelihood of having a child with birth defects increased by six times. The results of another study disclosed that the use of Zoloft by pregnant women could increase the potential for a birth defect of the heart by 50 percent.