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Paxil SSRI Birth Defect Settlements Top $1.2 Million per Family, Will Zoloft lawsuits Equal Them?
By Scott Hardy
GSK, the maker of Paxil, an SSRI antidepressant like Zoloft paid out more than $1 billion to settle birth defect lawsuits in 2010. Parents of children who were born with birth defects after being exposed to Zoloft while in the womb wonder if they can expect the same size settlement.
There have now been more than 100 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits and more are being filed every week. The typical Zoloft birth defect lawsuit alleges the SSRI antidepressant drug (similar to Paxil) may cause birth defects like Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), Atrial Septal Defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects (VSD), abdominal birth defects (omphalocele), cranial birth defects (craniosynotosis), aorta coarctation, hypoplastic right or left heart syndrome, transposition of the great arteries (TGA), tetralogy of fallot (TOF), spina bifida, Autism Spectrum Disorder and club feet. The allegations against GSK, the maker of Paxil, were similar. Paxil SSRI birth defect lawsuits alleged that the antidepressant drug caused heart defects in children who were exposed to the drug in utero.
GSK fought the Paxil heart birth defect lawsuits until the first went to trial. GSK lost the lawsuit and the parents of the child born with heart birth defects were awarded $2.5 million. This set the tone for how GSK would deal with Paxil birth defect lawsuits going forward. Many expect Pfizer to take at least one Zoloft birth defect lawsuit to trial before settling the case. How much Zoloft birth defect lawsuits settle for may largely depend on the outcome of the first major Zoloft birth defect lawsuit trial by jury.
Birth defects may be caused by many different medications (not just SSRI antidepressant drugs like Zoloft or Paxil) if the drug was taken while pregnant and only an attorney and your doctor can determine if one of the medications taken during pregnancy may be responsible for the birth defect. Many Paxil, Zoloft and SSRI antidepressant drug lawsuits allege that the drugmakers knew of the risk of birth defects if their drug is taken while pregnant but failed to warn patients and doctors of the risk. Zoloft birth defect lawsuits often include information about a study by Pfizer that took place before Zoloft was approved by the FDA in 1991. Pfizer conducted animal trials which found that Zoloft caused severe side effects in animal fetuses. Even though Pfizer knew of the risk of birth defects many Zoloft lawsuits allege that Pfizer did nothing, or not enough, to warn doctors and patients of the danger in taking Zoloft while pregnant.
GSK's Paxil heart defect settlements averaged out to more than $1.2 million per family. SSRI antidepressant drug birth defect attorneys don't know how much, or if, Pfizer and other drug makers will pay out if they settle the existing birth defect lawsuits. GSK's Paxil heart defect settlement was paid out to more than 800 families who sued GSK. Now that Zoloft birth defect lawsuits are being added to the Zoloft multidistrict litigation (MDL) it's possible that the number of lawsuits against Pfizer may top 800. Enjoining all of the Zoloft birth defect lawsuits under the MDL makes it easier for parents of children born with Zoloft birth defects to sue Pfizer.
Most new Zoloft birth defect lawsuits are being filed as part of the Zoloft MDL. Initially some Zoloft users filed Zoloft class action lawsuits which are currently being litigated in federal court. A Zoloft birth defect class action lawsuit may not be in the best interest of everyone. It's important that those affected by Zoloft or any other antidepressant SSRI drug side effect speak with a qualified SSRI drug side effect attorney to determine what is best for them. This may be filing an individual Zoloft birth defect lawsuit against Pfizer, joining the Zoloft birth defect MDL or filing a Zoloft birth defect class action lawsuit. If your baby was born with a birth defect and you were taking Zoloft, another antidepressant SSRI drug like Paxil, or any another SSRI drug you should speak with an experienced SSRI Drug Birth Defect attorney.
If you would like more information about filing a Zoloft birth defect class action lawsuit, would like to contact a Zoloft birth defect attorney, or would like to file an individual Zoloft birth defect lawsuit just go to the Zoloft Birth Defect Class Action Lawsuit Investigation page. You can submit your information to attorneys who specialize in Zoloft related birth defect lawsuits, and other SSRI antidepressant drug side effect lawsuits, who are actively investigating all claims regarding birth defects like Craniosynostosis, Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), Atrial Septal Defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects (VSD), abdominal birth defects (omphalocele), cranial birth defects (craniosynotosis), aorta coarctation, hypoplastic right or left heart syndrome, transposition of the great arteries (TGA), tetralogy of fallot (TOF), spina bifida, Autism, club feet and other problems which may be attributed to Zoloft or another anti-depressant (SSRI) drug taken while pregnant. It is Pfizer's responsibility to properly warn users of their drugs of the possibility of severe birth defects and if you feel you were not warned of the risk of birth defects an attorney may be able to help. Contact a Zoloft birth defect attorney now.
Updated June 8th, 2012
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