Pa.-based Wyeth Pharmaceuticals sued over birth defects allegedly caused by Effexor anti-depressant

By Jon Campisi | Sep 5, 2012

An Illinois couple is suing Pennsylvania-based Wyeth Pharmaceuticals over claims that

their now-8-year-old child sustained congenital defects and other related conditions as a result of the mother’s ingestion of the defendant-manufactured anti-depressant drug Effexor while she was pregnant with the child.

Attorneys with Philadelphia-based Feldman & Pinto and the Houston, TX-based law firm of Blizzard, McCarthy & Nabers, jointly filed a complaint Aug. 31 at Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Batavia, Ill. residents Delannie and Adam Adamcyzk.

The couple is suing on behalf of her minor child, who they claim developed birth defects as a result of the mother taking Effexor during pregnancy.

The plaintiffs claim that despite the exercise of “reasonable diligence” in investigating the cause of the child’s injuries, including consultations with her medical care providers, the mother was never told that Effexor, which is used to treat depression, could have caused the injuries.

Delannie Adamcyzk also claims in her suit that she was not initially made aware of the possibility of birth defects in children as a result of a pregnant woman taking the drug.

“Had the Mother Plaintiff been adequately warned that Effexor could cause congenital birth defects if ingested during pregnancy, she would not have taken the drug,” the lawsuit states.

The suit claims that at the time of birth, the child was suffering from life-threatening congenital defects, including Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and other related conditions.

The complaint states that prior to Delannie becoming pregnant, Wyeth knew or should have known that taking Effexor during pregnancy posed risks to the developing fetus and that the drug crosses the placenta, which could have important implications for the developing fetus.

The suit claims that the defendants negligently and carelessly breached their duties to the medical community, including the plaintiffs’ doctors and others similarly situated, by failing to ensure that Effexor warnings to the public were accurate and adequate, despite having knowledge of the risks associated with the drug; failing to conduct post-market safety surveillance and report that information to the medical community; failing to continually monitor, test and analyze data regarding safety, efficacy and the prescribing practices for Effexor; and failing to disclose the results of the testing and other information in their possession regarding the possibility that Effexor can interfere with the proper development of an unborn fetus.

The lawsuit claims that the plaintiffs’ child has thus far had to undergo three open-heart surgeries because of the child’s injuries.

The child is expected to undergo additional medical procedures in the future, including heart transplantation, the suit states.

The complaint contains counts of fraudulent concealment, strict product liability, negligence, negligent design, constructive fraud, breach of express and implied warranties, and fraud, misrepresentation and suppression.

There is also a loss of consortium count in the complaint.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $50,000, plus delay damages and litigation costs.

The three defendants named in the suit are Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., Wyeth LLC and Wyeth.


The case ID number is 120803581. 

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