Maine couple files Zoloft wrongful death claim in federal court in Phila.

By Jon Campisi | Oct 25, 2012

A New England couple is suing the makers of the antidepressant drug Zoloft in federal

court in Philadelphia over claims that their newborn daughter died as a result of the mother ingesting the medication during pregnancy.

Carrie and Eric St. Pierre filed suit Oct. 24 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against drug manufacturer Pfizer and company subsidiary Greenstone LLC.

The complaint alleges that the plaintiffs’ daughter, Soliel M. St. Pierre, died shortly after being born back on Dec. 26, 2010, as a result of the birth defects she sustained due to her mother’s ingestion of Zoloft.

Carrie St. Pierre claims in her suit that she trusted that serious risks and conditions associated with Zoloft use, such as congenital birth defects, would have been included and emphasized in the written drug information provided to her with her prescription, but that it was not.

“Had the Mother Plaintiff been adequately warned that Zoloft could cause congenital birth defects if ingested during pregnancy, she would not have taken the drug,” states the lawsuit, which was written by attorneys Rosemary Pinto and J. Bradley McDermott, of the Philadelphia firm Feldman & Pinto.

Zoloft, which received FDA approval in 1991 to treat depression in adults, has been the subject of multi-district litigation that has been consolidated at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

The multi-case docket is known as Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation, and is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.

The current lawsuit, like the others in the MDL, alleges that the defendants knew of the dangerous birth defects associated with Zoloft’s use during pregnancy, but that they took no action to adequately warn or remedy the risks, instead concealing and failing to disclose the medication’s dangers among this particular segment of the consuming public.

“Defendants failed to fully, truthfully and accurately disclose Zoloft data to the FDA, the Plaintiffs and the Mother Plaintiffs physicians, and as a result negligently, intentionally and fraudulently misled the medical community, physicians, the Mother Plaintiffs physicians, and Plaintiffs about the risks to a fetus associated with the use of Zoloft during pregnancy,” the St. Pierre lawsuit reads.

The complaint contains counts of wrongful death and Survival Action, in addition to claims of strict product liability; negligence; negligent design; fraud, misrepresentation and suppression; constructive fraud; gross negligence/malice; breach of express and implied warranties; negligent infliction of emotional distress; loss of consortium and punitive damages.

The plaintiffs seek judgment in excess of $75,000, plus lost wages, punitive and/or treble damages, litigation costs, attorney’s fees, delay damages and pre-and-post-judgment interest.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-06079-CMR. 

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