Skip to main content

St. Louis-based Carey Danis & Lowe Files Federal Suit in Illinois Against the Maker of Zoloft

Posted March 16, 2012 by

Suit asserts Pfizer hid risks of birth defects when the antidepressant was taken during pregnancy

ST. LOUIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)St. Louis–based law firm Carey Danis & Lowe announces the filing of a federal lawsuit against Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) for allegedly causing birth defects in a child after the mother was prescribed and ingested the antidepressant drug Zoloft while pregnant.

Zoloft (generic name sertraline) belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Zoloft for the treatment of major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, acute post–traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and social anxiety disorder.

The lawsuit, Kristie Bell-Rumora, individually and as mother and natural guardian of G.R. v. Pfizer, Inc., case no. 3:12-cv-00227, was filed on March12 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The mother was prescribed Zoloft during pregnancy. Her child, G.R., was born on Aug. 28, 2006 with congenital heart defects.

The suit was brought on behalf of the plaintiff by Carey Danis & Lowe. The law firm also serves as local counsel in 11 cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois involving Zoloft. Carey Danis & Lowe recently filed suit against Pfizer involving Zoloft on behalf of 21 plaintiffs in St. Louis Circuit Court and it represents hundreds of individuals with possible claims involving Zoloft whose cases have not yet been filed.

SSRIs have been found to cause severe birth defects in the children of women who were prescribed the drug while pregnant and, the suit alleges, Pfizer knew or should have known of studies revealing that children born to mothers who had taken SSRIs during pregnancy had a greater risk of congenital birth defects. The suit also alleges that Pfizer knew that physicians were prescribing Zoloft to women of childbearing age but failed to adequately warn the medical community and the public of the danger.

The lawsuit asserts state law claims against Pfizer for defective design, failure to warn, negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment. The plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

“In 2006, our client was prescribed Zoloft despite evidence dating back to the 1990s that SSRIs, including Zoloft, are dangerous for pregnant mothers and their developing babies,” explains Jeffrey J. Lowe of Carey Danis & Lowe. “Pfizer hid the risks and an innocent child was hurt as result.”

Founded in 1995, Carey Danis & Lowe has offices in Missouri and Illinois. The firm handles personal injury, pharmaceutical liability, product liability, medical malpractice, class action and commercial cases throughout the United States.