Wyeth seeks to have product liability case transferred from state to federal court

By Jon Campisi | Apr 20, 2012

Attorneys for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals are seeking to have a product liability case involving claims of birth defects tied to the plaintiff’s use of the defendant’s drug Effexor during pregnancy transferred from state to federal court.

Philadelphia attorneys Robert A. Limbacher and Shevon D. Rockett, of the firm Goodell, Devries, Leech & Dann, filed the removal notice April 18 with the federal court in Philadelphia seeking to have a case initiated by Sadie and Anthony Decker transferred from Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Limbacher and Rockett represent the defendants in the case, listed as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Wolters Kluwer Heath and Wolters Kluwer United States.

The Deckers, who are suing on behalf on their minor son, Quintin, claim in their product liability lawsuit that the defendants failed to warn them of the dangers, which the defendant’s purportedly knew about, involving the use of Effexor during pregnancy.

The lawsuit, which was jointly filed April 17 at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court by Philadelphia attorney Rosemary Pinto and Houston lawyer J. Scott Nabers, claims that young Quintin was born with certain birth defects, including craniosynostosis, as a result of his mother taking Effexor, a drug used to treat anxiety and depression, while she was pregnant with the boy.

The suit contains counts of strict product liability for failure to warn and design defect; negligence; negligent design; fraud, misrepresentation and suppression; constructive fraud; breach of express and implied warranties; and gross negligence/malice.

The complaint also contains a loss of consortium count on Sadie’s husband’s behalf and seeks punitive and compensatory damages.

In the removal notice, the defendants’ attorneys argue that the litigation should be commenced in U.S. District Court because the amount in controversy exceeds state court jurisdictional limits and because there is a diversity of citizenship, with the plaintiffs residing in Missouri and the various defendants being spread out through other states.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-02052-EL. 

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