The large drug manufacturer Pfizer is the subject of a wrongful death suit in a Philadelphia federal court concerning Zoloft, one of its flagship antidepressants. The lawsuit, filed by the Wisconsin parents of an infant who died the same day she was born, claims that the drug caused the severe birth defects that led to the infant’s death; the plaintiff took Zoloft while she was pregnant.
The child was born with multiple birth defects, including substantial brain malformations and pulmonary hypoplasia. The lawsuit alleges that the company should have known prior to the woman’s pregnancy that the drug was dangerous to developing fetuses and that the company was negligent in that it failed to disclose this information to the public, including the plaintiff mother and her physicians, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The complaint is part of a multi-district litigation against the drug company by an attorney seeking damages for fraud, misrepresentation, negligence, product liability, break of warranty and gross malice. Damages are being sought for wrongful death, pecuniary loss and loss of consortium, and the plaintiffs are seeking both actual and special damages.
A wrongful death case often involves an individual who has caused someone’s death through negligent behavior such as drunk driving. However, the fact that the defendant is a large company that has allegedly ignored safety protocols and caused a victim’s death does not bar the plaintiff from seeking the same types of damages available in other wrongful death cases, such as those involving product liability. A wrongful death attorney can explain the various damages available to plaintiffs in these matters and work with them to decide which damages are appropriate for their cases.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Wisconsin couple files Zoloft wrongful death claim in Phila. federal court,” Jon Campisi, Jan. 4, 2013