Honestly, you can’t blame someone for wanting justice if they were given wrong information that possibly lead to the harm or death of a family member. That is why we are so blessed with a great justice system here in the United States, for justice to adequately be served. And, this is exactly what one Ohio couple is attempting to do with a recent lawsuit against an antidepressant drug manufacturer.
According to a report from Courthouse News Service, a recent Zoloft lawsuit was filed by Susan and James Hodge of Alaska filed their suit in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas. Defendants named in the complaint include Pfizer, the maker of Zoloft, and Cardinal Health. The couple accuses Pfizer of covering up studies that documented Zoloft’s link to the fatal birth defect.
However, this is nothing new. Consumer News Weekly reported in an article February 2, 2011 that Zoloft birth defect lawsuits are on the rise as well and that there may be a Zoloft class action lawsuit with possible compensation from Zoloft settlements. Why are the lawsuits on the rise? Because, Zoloft may be wrongly classified by the FDA, and/or insufficient warnings and precautions listed for the medication.
Although The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has classified Zoloft as Pregnancy Category C, meaning that Zoloft can potentially cause harm to a developing fetus if it is used during pregnancy. A classification such as this means that in the clinical trials performed on animal fetuses, these animals experienced birth defects from the drugs. However, even if a drug does appear to have adverse effects in animal fetuses, it’s important to remember that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Because it is only listed as Category C, a healthcare provider may still prescribe Zoloft to a pregnant woman if he or she believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh the possible risks to the unborn child.
According to the lawsuit, Susan Hodge read the Zoloft prescribing information before she began taking it, and “relied upon the fact that congenital birth defects … were not listed or emphasized on the Zoloft monograph and/or drug information as a basis to believe that Zoloft was safe for use during her pregnancy.”
As a result of Susan’s use of Zoloft during her pregnancy, the Hodge’s son, Dillon, who was born on October 1, 2009, developed the birth defect anencephaly, the lawsuit says.
He died the day after his birth as a result of the condition the following day.
According to the Hodge’s complaint, “Pfizer had the knowledge, the means, and the duty to provide the medical community and the consuming public with a stronger warning regarding the association between Zoloft and congenital birth defects … through all means necessary, including, but not limited to, labeling, continuing education, symposiums, posters, sales calls to doctors, advertisements, and promotional materials, etc. Pfizer breached this duty.”
Even more specifically, the lawsuit claims that, “Pfizer knew or should have known that Zoloft crosses the placenta, which could have important implications for the developing fetus.” The claim that was filed is for wrongful death of their child, who died 18 hours after he was born because of the severe birth defect he suffered. The Hodges are seeking damages in several forms, including compensation for product liability, negligence, fraud, breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, false advertising and wrongful death. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages.