December 10, 2012 — U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe has scheduled the first Zoloft lawsuit for a jury trial on September 12, 2014. Lawyers still need to submit proposals for selecting cases that will go to trial. Pfizer is facing hundreds of Zoloft lawsuits alleging that the company failed to adequately disclose information about the risks of using Zoloft during pregnancy.
In large pharmaceutical litigation, a small group of cases are chosen to go to trial. The first trials are known as bellwether trials. Cases are chosen because they have similar injuries, facts, and/or legal questions. Decisions made in these cases can help decide legal matters in other cases. They can also help facilitate a potential settlement agreement.
Most Zoloft lawsuits have been centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As of mid-October, about 245 lawsuits were centralized there. After an MDL is established, lawsuits filed in state courts are usually transferred to the MDL to improve convenience and efficiency.
About 70 additional Zoloft lawsuits are still pending in state courts in Illinois, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. At least 311 Zoloft lawsuits have been filed in total, and the number continues to grow.