New York Parents Charge Pfizer Actively Concealed True Risks Of Birth
Defects To Infants From Zoloft When Prescribed To Mothers During Pregnancy
NEW YORK -- May 6, 2013
Wendy R. Fleishman, a personal injury lawyer at the national plaintiffs' law
firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and co-counsel Jack Meyerson and
Debora O'Neill of Meyerson & O'Neill of Philadelphia, announced that Kori and
Jami Wolcott, residents of Rochester, New York, filed a lawsuit against
pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), for the permanent and
devastating injuries their minor son suffered from birth defects allegedly
caused by Zoloft, an antidepressant prescription drug manufactured and sold by
Pfizer, Inc. that was prescribed to the mother during her pregnancy.
Kori Wolcott's physician prescribed the Zoloft during her pregnancy. In March
2003, the Wolcott's son, C.W., was born with multiple congenital birth defects
and malformations, including severe aortic valve stenosis, which is an aortic
valve disorder consisting of a narrowing of the aorta causing obstruction of
blood flow from leaving the heart to the body.
Complications of the disease include shortness of breath, fainting, chest
pain, and potentially fatal heart failure. In August 2003, baby C.W. underwent
surgery to enlarge his narrowed heart valve.
Despite the surgery, C.W.'s aortic valve stenosis is a permanent condition
with which he will struggle for the rest of his life. C.W.'s heart has and
must be continually monitored by specialists. He is at an increased risk for
future heart problems requiring surgery such as valve replacement.
When taken by pregnant women, Zoloft and its generic version Sertraline can
enter the fetal bloodstream. Doctors have prescribed Zoloft to women of
childbearing age, as well as women already pregnant.
The lawsuit, filed last week in New York state court, charges that Pfizer knew
or should have known that Zoloft was linked to serious birth defects,
including heart malformations, cranial defects, and abdominal defects, and
should have fully informed doctors and the public of these risks.
"We intend to prove that Pfizer knew of the risk of dangerous birth defects
associated with Zoloft and other antidepressant prescription drugs when used
during pregnancy both from preclinical studies and subsequent published
studies," stated Ms. Fleishman. "Yet, Pfizer took no action to properly study
the risk of birth defects linked to Zoloft. Instead, the complaint charges,
Pfizer concealed, suppressed, downplayed, and failed to disclose these
The complaint seeks to recover damages for the medical and other expenses
related to the treatment for C.W.'s birth defects, disorders, and related
illnesses. "As early as the 1990's, scientific studies began to show a
relationship between use of antidepressants during pregnancy and serious birth
defects," stated Ms. O'Neill. "Despite this medical research, the complaint
alleges, Pfizer failed, and continues to fail, to warn that Zoloft increased
the likelihood of serious birth defects."
"To this day, Pfizer still has not provided an adequate warning on the Zoloft
label to physicians, the medical community, and the public about the increased
risk of birth defects associated with Zoloft use during pregnancy," added Ms.
Further Legal Resources for Parents
Parents of a baby with severe birth defects whose mother took Zoloft or other
anti-depressant prescription drugs while pregnant may visit
www.BirthDefectLegalResources.com to learn about your rights. You may be
eligible to file a claim against the manufacturer of the anti-depressant drug
prescribed during pregnancy to obtain compensation for the injury inflicted on
About Lieff Cabraser
Recognized as "one of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms" by The American
Lawyer, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a sixty-plus attorney law
firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville founded in 1972.
The firm has successfully represented parents across America whose child
developed a significant medical condition or was born with birth defects
caused by dangerous prescription drugs or food products with undisclosed
serious side effects.
The National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the top
plaintiffs' law firms in the nation. We are one of only two plaintiffs' law
firms in the United States to receive this honor for the last ten consecutive
years. Best Lawyers and U.S. News named Lieff Cabraser as their 2012 "Law Firm
of the Year" for representing plaintiffs in class actions and mass torts.
Learn more at http://www.lieffcabraser.com
About Meyerson & O'Neill
For more than 20 years, Meyerson & O'Neill has maintained a successful and
varied practice handling complex civil and personal injury matters for persons
who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries. Based in Philadelphia
with an office in New Jersey, the firm's lawyers have considerable experience
in white collar criminal defense cases and an impressive track record in
achieving large financial settlements from the successful prosecution of
wrongful death cases. Learn more at http://www.meyersonlawfirm.com/
Notice on Attorney Advertising
This press release may be considered advertising in certain jurisdictions. Any
testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or
prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Every legal matter is
different. The outcome of your claim or case depends upon many factors,
including the specific facts of your claim or case. Prior results do not
guarantee a similar outcome.
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
Wendy Fleishman, 212-355-9500
Meyerson & O'Neill
Debora O'Neill, 215-972-1376
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