June 1, 2015 — Pfizer Inc. is facing a trial in Philadelphia on behalf of a child who was born with birth defects after her mother took Zoloft antidepressants during pregnancy.
The lawsuit was filed in July 2011 on behalf of 8 year-old Mia Robinson, who was born with a severe heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. The condition actually involves several defects, the most severe of which involves major arteries exiting the heart in the wrong positions.
Law360 reports that attorneys accused Pfizer of downplaying the risk of heart defects from taking Zoloft during pregnancy.
The label on Zoloft recommended that women use contraceptives, but attorneys said it was inadequate because it failed to communicate information about the risk of birth defects:
“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.”
The outcome of the case will be closely watched. Earlier this month, Pfizer won a trial after a state-court jury in St. Louis, Missouri found that Zoloft did not cause 11 year-old Logyn Pesante’s heart defects. In January 2016, the first federal lawsuit will go to trial before U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. She currently oversees over 550 lawsuits involving heart defects allegedly caused by Zoloft.