Indiana mother sues Pfizer in federal court in Phila. over Zoloft injuries to newborn son
An Indiana woman is suing drugmaker Pfizer in federal court in eastern Pennsylvania over allegations that her ingestion of the anti-depressant drug Zoloft during pregnancy caused her child to be born suffering from birth defects. Amisha Chatman’s lawsuit, filed Jan. 15 at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by attorneys Zachary J. Murry, Michelle L. Kranz, David W. Zoll and Pamela A. Borgess, of the Toledo, OH, firm Zoll, Kranz & Borgess, claims that her ingestion of Zoloft, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, while she was pregnant with Tyriq Wilson back in late 2007 and early 2008 caused the boy to be born with Supraventricular Tachycardia, or episodes of rapid heart rate. As a result of the newborn baby’s injuries, the boy was required to undergo treatment in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for two weeks and now requires annual EKGs and regular monitoring of his heart rate and activity levels, the lawsuit states. The complaint alleges that Tyriq will eventually require surgical intervention to repair his injuries. “Tyriq Wilson continues to suffer physically and emotionally from this birth defect caused by Zoloft,” the lawsuit reads. “Tyriq Wilson has endured substantial medical care, procedures and treatment as a result of this defect.” The suit further alleges that Chatman, the boy’s mother and the plaintiff in the litigation, continues to suffer mentally, emotionally and financially as a result of her son’s birth defects. Specifically, she has incurred a great deal of medical bills as a result of her having to take her son for medical treatment. The complaint, like the others filed in the multi-district Zoloft litigation that has been consolidated at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, accuses drugmaker Pfizer of having knowledge that when taken by pregnant women, Zoloft could cause birth defects in the unborn fetus. “Pfizer knew about these adverse side effects, yet, without further testing, Pfizer began marketing and selling Zoloft to physicians and the public,” the complaint states. “However, in its promotional activities, Pfizer did not discourage the use of Zoloft in pregnant women. In fact, through a variety of methods, Pfizer actually encouraged doctors to prescribe Zoloft to women of childbearing age, women who were trying to conceive and to pregnant women.” The birth defects allegedly caused by Zoloft ingestion during pregnancy, the suit says, includes, but are not limited to, ventricular septal defects, atrial septal defects, hypoplastic left or right heart syndrome, craniosynostosis, omphalocele, gastroschisis, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, Tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia, limb deformations, spina bifida, cleft palate, and patent ductus arteriosus. The lawsuit contains counts of breach of warranty, negligence, strict liability, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence per se and unjust enrichment. The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, along with interest, litigation costs, attorneys’ fees and other court relief. A jury trial has been demanded. The Zoloft MDL at the federal court in Philadelphia is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody. The federal case number is 2:13-cv-00225-CMR.