A alleging international fraud has been filed in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit has been filed by plaintiff Laura Rowan, on behalf of herself and her minor son, Nathan Rowan in December 2011 in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit has been filed in the Court of Common Please of . Later in January 2012, the lawsuit was shifted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiff is seeking punitive damages and compensation for her son, who suffered birth defects due to use of Zoloft by her.

Zoloft is an antidepressant drug. It has Sertraline as the main active ingredient. Zoloft is manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. It is also used to treat other diseases such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) group of drugs. Sertraline was first developed in 1970s by Pfizer. Zoloft was presented for FDA approval in 1990 and was approved for many mood and stress related disorders.

The child suffered Birth Defects Due to Zoloft

The lawsuit is alleging that the child Nathan Rowan suffered birth defects due to use of Zoloft by her mother. He was born on April 16, 2004 and suffered congenital birth defects, autism and other related conditions. Plaintiff Laura Rowan had taken Zoloft during and thought it would be safe as there was not any sufficient warning related to birth defects on the drug’s label.

The lawsuit alleges that it is an international fraud on part of Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of the medicine Zoloft. The company has to disclose the information on the drug fully, truthfully, and accurately. But it failed to provide adequate warning regarding Zoloft birth defects to the consumers. It blames that Pfizer was aware of birth defects, Zoloft can cause, but it did not provide enough warning and played with lives of many unborn children.

The use of the medicine Zoloft is quite risky for pregnant women as it can easily cross the placental barrier and reach to the unborn child. It could affect the development of unborn child and can cause several birth defects. Some of the are clubfeet, limb deformations, spina bifida, cleft palate, hydrocephalus, congenital birth defects and other related conditions.

The lawsuit claims that Pfizer’s act was negligent, intentional and fraudulent. It not only misled consumers but FDA too. The plaintiff is seeking general and special damages. As the child has not only suffered temporary injury but also permanent ones, the plaintiff is asking a compensation for the pain and suffering, emotional pain, embarrassment, humiliation, psychological injury, disability, and disfigurement. The plaintiff is also asking for past and future medical expenses.

There are many lawsuits filed against Pfizer, which blame that the pharmaceutical giant was aware of the birth defects, Zoloft could cause, even then it did not provide enough warning related to it to consumers. They claim the pre-approval animal studies have shown that Zoloft could induce significant harmful side effects to fetuses during pregnancy. These harmful effects also included increased mortality and cardiac malformations.