There are approximately 330 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits currently pending against Pfizer in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). This MDL was established in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania to streamline the litigation process for the numerous lawsuits involving children who have suffered Zoloft birth defects. The first bellwether trials are set to begin in 2014, but the selection process for choosing the bellwether trials has already begun. Following discovery and pretrial proceedings, the first bellwether trial is set to begin September 12, 2014.

The families who filed these Zoloft birth defect lawsuits all claim that their child was born with a severe birth defect after the mothers took Zoloft during pregnancy. Zoloft is a SSRI drug that is often taken to combat depression. Complaints allege that Zoloft increases the risk of delivering a child with birth defects.

One study that was cited monitored 10,000 infants who were born with birth defects and 6,000 healthy babies. The study found that women who took Zoloft had twice the risk of having a baby born with a serious heart defect. Since then, numerous studies have linked Zoloft to a variety of congenital birth defects, including:

  • Clubbed Foot
  • Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
  • Autism
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Pulmonary Stenosis
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Skull Defects and Malformation
  • Neural Tube Defects
  • Anal Atresia
  • Spina Bifida
  • Gastrochisis
  • Delayed Development

Perhaps even more devastating to these families and their children is that the lawsuits allege that Pfizer knew of these increased risks but did not provide sufficient warnings to the general public, expecting mothers, and their physicians.

Zoloft Lawsuit Attorneys

If your child was born with a birth defect after you were prescribed the dangerous drug Zoloft, it is important to speak with a Zoloft lawsuit attorney immediately. The national Zoloft lawsuit attorneys at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our national Zoloft lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.


A new lawsuit has Zoloft manufacturer, Pfizer, in the hot seat. According to plaintiff Laura Plumlee and her counsel, the drug Zoloft is as effective as a placebo or sugar pill. Their case is being tried in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plumlee claims that she took Zoloft for three years without any noticeable impact on her depression. While these claims are not extraordinary, it seems that Pfizer may have withheld clinical studies that disputed its effectiveness. This alleged withholding of information now has Pfizer in hot water.

Pfizer of course denies these serious charges and has stated that “the lawsuit filed in California is groundless and is based largely on information….that has been widely criticized by many experts in the mental health field.”

The new lawsuit accuses Pfizer of consumer fraud and other serious criminal offenses, including paying prominent doctors to recommend Zoloft to colleagues. If Pfizer is found guilty of withholding clinical trial information, this could have serious ramifications for the company and for consumers across the country. Antidepressants are the 9th most popular type of prescribed medicine and annual sales top $20 billion worldwide.

Zoloft: More Harm than Good?

Zoloft is already under scrutiny after the FDA warned that using Zoloft during pregnancy could lead to serious birth defects. In addition, Zoloft is known to lead to suicides and overdoses, making it a very serious and dangerous drug. Unfortunately, more than 37 million people in the United States are currently using Zoloft to treat mental conditions, such as depression. These serious lawsuits and recent allegations have caused many in the medical field to question the effectiveness of antidepressants on people with mild to moderate depression.

Zoloft Lawsuit Attorneys

If you or someone you love has been harmed after taking the dangerous drug Zoloft, it is important to know that you are not alone. The national Zoloft lawsuit attorneys at Phillips Law Firm can help. We represent patients across the United States who have been injured or hurt after taking a dangerous drug. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Zoloft lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.


New Granuflo wrongful death lawsuits are cropping up across the United States as Fresenius Medical Care now faces multi-district litigation. On December 12th two plantiffs filed a motion to request an MDL be established in the district of Massachusetts after their loved ones died after using the Fresenius dialysis product Granuflo. Earlier this month, Fresenius Medical Care finally agreed to multidistrict litigation consolidation for all federal NaturaLyte and Granuflo lawsuits.

Multidistrict litigation has its benefits; offering a more efficient and streamlined litigation process for everyone involved. Unlike a class action lawsuit, multidistrict lawsuit cases allow for resolutions to be decided upon on an individual basis. Now that an MDL has been established, injured patients and their families can seek legal compensation more easily.

Granuflo and Wrongful Death

While some of the lawsuits filed against Fresenius Medical Care are filed by injured dialysis patients who have suffered heart attacks or cardiac complications, many are wrongful death lawsuits that are filed by the victims’ family members on their behalf—such as Hope Schultz whose 50-year-old husband died suddenly after receiving Granuflo during dialysis.

Granuflo Wrongful Deaths Traced to High Bicarbonate Levels

By January 2010, there were 941 reports of cardiopulmonary deaths linked to Granuflo use. This is six times higher than for patients who used alternative dialysis products. Yet even after this data was made known to Fresenius Medical Care, they continued to market their product and put patients’ lives in danger. Since its release, numerous studies have linked these deaths to abnormally high bicarbonate in the bloodstream. This bicarbonate leads to a condition known as metabolic alkalosis which can cause low blood pressure, arrhythmias, and heart attacks.

GranuFlo Lawsuits and Dialysis Lawsuit Attorneys

If you or someone you love has died as a result of taking GranuFlo or NaturaLyte during dialysis, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Granuflo lawsuit attorney. The Granuflo litigaton lawyers at Phillips Law Firm can review your case and determine if you may be eligible to take part in the multidistrict litigation against Fresenius Medical Care. To learn more about filing a GranuFlo or dialysis lawsuit call the Granuflo dialysis lawsuit lawyers at Phillips Law Firm today at 1-800-708-6000. Our multidistrict litigation attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel overwhelmingly approved (20-2) a new weight loss drug Qnexa. And why wouldn’t they? The FDA officials put together a 161 page dossier touting the benefits of the drug and highly recommending the approval of the drug. The FDA created this less-than objective document in order to finally get some kind of drug that addresses the problem of obesity in America. Statistics are now showing that 38% of the U.S. population is obese and growing. This is making people across the government agencies nervous over the pending health crisis that is already costing the American tax payers billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Is Qnexa the miracle pill that the FDA and the pharmaceutical community touting it to be?

Diet Pills and the American Consumer

Here’s the problem with introducing a diet pill onto the market with such limited competition: everyone wants it…now. That’s the problem now-defunct diet drug Phen-fen had. It was a mixture of a appetite suppressant and amphetamine that hit the market with no approval from the FDA in the 1990’s. As soon as it hit the market, millions of people began being prescribed it and were even able to get it without a prescription. It was alike a weight loss pill free-for-all with millions of people popping these pills in hopes for instant results. What it ended up giving them was heart valve problems that forced the FDA to pull it. In what seemed to be a mirror image of the Qnexa approval came Meridia. A “miracle” pill that turned out to put millions of people already at risk of having a heart attack and stroke due to their obesity that much more at risk. This too was pulled from the market much to embarrassment to the FDA. Now Qnexa is the next incarnation. The FDA is hoping this time to quell the inevitable frenzy to get this drug. However, it seems that there are few provisions set in place to make sure that only the people who really need it, i.e., morbidly obese and at-risk individuals, are the only ones to receive it. “This drug, if approved, would likely be prescribed to millions or tens of millions of people,” said Dr. Michael Lauer, director of the division of cardiovascular sciences at the National Institutes of Health. The reason for the lack of provision is the pressure from the pharmaceutical community to allow this potentially multibillion-dollar cash cow of a drug to be unleashed on the public regardless of its potential side effects. The FDA gets the majority of their funding from the pharmaceutical industry, so the voracious need for profit might over shadow the greater good that this drug could do. The questions is, what kind of harm can Qnexa do to the general public?

Qnexa and Side Effects

You see, we at Phillips Law Firm are not anti-pharmaceutical, we’re anti-defective-drug. And this drug has the potential to do some bad things. The reason why is because it has half of the ingredient of the banned Phen-fen in it, the amphetamine phentermine, and the other half is topiramate, an anti-seizure drug that also curbs people’s appetites. Two drugs with an impressive list of serious side effects.

Topiramate side effects:

This drug is used to treat seizures in both adults and children as young as two. It also is used to treat chronic headaches and migraines before they’ve started. However, through clinical trials and listening to the medical community, the drug manufacturer discovered that it also caused serious loss of appetite. Qnexa is the first drug to capitalize on this. That makes one of the side effects:

  • Anorexia – A patient that is not prescribed Qnexa could not be in the proper weight ratio for the drug and without proper monitoring, may find themselves with weight issues.
  • Birth Defects – The drug, when taken by pregnant women, has been linked to serious birth defects.
  • Aggressive Behavior – This can effect your personal and professional relationships and may lead to loss of job or lower quality of life.
  • Balance and Speech – The patient can have serious problems with how quickly they think, problems with balance, and may have slowed or slurred speech.

Phentermine side effects:

This is a serious amphetamine. Amphetamines in the past were found to help raise the metabolism and help the body burn fat. It also inspired people to be active and do things that would help them burn fat. The problem was that the substances were found to be highly addictive and would cause the body to slow severely when the drug wasn’t present. However, smaller amounts of phentermine in Qnexa is intended to suppress the appetite and raise metabolism. Unfortunately, even in small doses some of the problems that drove concerns over Phen-fen are still present in Qnexa such as:

  • Impotence – This is a quality of life issue that leads to an inability to perform sexually and may effect a male patient’s ability to procreate.
  • Insomnia – This is a serious problem that could effect the patient’s ability to perform at work or conduct a normal lifestyle while on the drug.
  • High blood pressure – A rise in blood pressure could lead to a serious chance of heart disease or heart failure, particularly if weakened by cholesterol or plaque buildup.
  • Circulatory issues – This could lead to a swelling of the feet and legs and may potentially promote the creation of blood clots.

Qnexa Lawsuits

There is no doubt that obesity, is a major problem in the US, and is one of the leading cause of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems. Many experts agree that it has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with nearly 68% of the U.S. population considered overweight, and a third obese. However, it is for this reason, analysts predict that Qnexa, if approved, will be prescribed widely, with annual sales of $1 billion to $3 billion. “Perhaps the only thing that would be better than a pill to help you lose weight would be a pill that makes you more beautiful,” said Dr. David Gortler, a former FDA medical officer on the obesity team and current professor of pharmacology at Georgetown Medical School. “In fact, many fashion advertisers promote and equate beauty with the loss of weight. “There is going to be a huge demand for Qnexa… (and) if the FDA doesn’t regulate Qnexa appropriately there are going to be a deluge of lawsuits,” said Gortler.

Qnexa Lawyer

If you or a loved one has taken Qnexa to lose weight and found that you have run into unexpected heart complications or your newborn child was born with a birth defect as a result of taking the drug, you need council of a good attorney. Phillips Law Firm is a team of experienced defective drug attorneys with a proven track record of successful defective drug litigation. If you or a loved one have experienced serious injuries or death due to the side effects of a generic drug call us today for a free consultation and to find out your legal rights.


Merck’s marquis hair loss prevention drug Propecia has fallen upon some hard times. What was once a billion dollar annual income has steadily descended to around $400 million dollars and continues to fall upon news and a string of studies showing that it causes erectile dysfunction. Not a promising prospect for a man who is already self-conscious about his hair loss.

However, after spending years on the market, Propecia is finally proving that it not only causes erectile dysfunction while the patient is on the drug, but some studies are showing that it could last for months after stopping drug and could in some cases become a permanent condition.

Now the company has pulled the zippy Propecia website hawking the drug and showing happy guys with full heads of hair. Instead the website displays a one page information portal that leads to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, which, with only minimal clicking, will tell you that the main ingredient in Propecia, finasteride, has a chance of causing much worse than erectile dysfunction.

Some early studies suggest that it may cause male breast cancer and prostate cancer. You see, the bad thing is that finasteride was initially intended to treat prostate cancer, however, it also resulted in hair growth. It seems now all good things must come to an end, for both global conglomerate Merck and men seeking to prevent hair loss and still be able to get an erection.

This whole unfortunate situation has resulted in hundreds of lawsuits around the country of angry men who say that Merck did not provide the proper warnings.

Propecia Lawsuits

Lawyers were hoping this would get done in 2011, but it looks like 2012 is the year for the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) will rule on whether federal Propecia lawsuits are consolidated into a class action lawsuit to be presided over by a single judge in a central location.

The main allegations proposed by plaintiffs in Propecia lawsuits are around the sexual side effects. Generally, they seek damages over a rather wide range due to everything from pain and suffering to quality of life. Though many of these men have been waiting months, some years, to find justice, there is a lot of confidence that the MDL will be granted.

In fact, Merck has already requested that the potential MDL be headquartered in New Jersey, the company’s principal state of residence. Other venue options include New York and right here in Washington State, spurring on potentially one of the largest drug lawsuits ever tried in the state.

Are You Eligible to File a Propecia Lawsuit?

One of the reasons why Washington is being considered for the MDL is because a lot of the lawsuits are on the West coast and were started right here in Washington State. A victim of the side effects of Propecia has suffered erectile dysfunction directly related to their use of Propecia and thus has suffered a lowered quality of life due to the side effects.

Propecia lawsuits both at the state and federal levels claim that Merck knew, or should have known, about the side effects associated with their drug, and allege that the company failed to warn consumers of the associated risks. The main purpose of an MDL is to conserve resources, avoid duplicate discovery, and prevent the possibility of conflicting court rulings. Many ask the simple question of how many men would knowingly exchange Propecia erectile dysfunction and other Propecia sexual side effects for a fuller head of hair?

How do I File a Lawsuit Against Merck?

Though no individual is barred from filing their own lawsuit, it is highly advisable to seek an experienced law firm with a proven track record of success in defective drug litigation. Phillips Law Firm has helped dozens of victims and their loved ones who have been seriously effected by the side effects of various defective drugs.

These large MDL lawsuits can be tricky to navigate. Phillips’ team will conduct the investigation on your behalf and file the proper paperwork in order to move forward with a Propecia lawsuit. With the details in place and all of the paperwork collected, the attorneys will then have the tools they need to be able to represent you in the best way possible wherever the MDL may reside.

What is the Next Step in the MDL?

On March 29, 2012, San Diego is scheduled to host the next hearing for Propecia MDL. If the federal panel elects to consolidate Propecia lawsuits into an MDL, then a venue will be designated and most likely Merck will dispute it right away. Delay is the name of the game when hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

In most cases, the plaintiff should expect this process to take a long time and hearings to start no sooner than 2013. Plaintiffs should expect MDLs to be tested through a series of bellwether lawsuits that test the strength of the majority of the common lawsuit’s evidence and claims. Most of these bellwether lawsuits are the earliest suits filed and have been waiting for a long time to be tried so if you are filing now, it is unlikely your suit will be one of the lawsuits to be chosen as a bellwether case.

Contact Us of fill out the Free Propecial Case Evaluation

There are indications that Merck may not have given the proper indication of the severity of these side effects. With oversight from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is up to the company to provide information of any serious side effects. Merck may have known about the side effects, but neglected to properly inform customers or the FDA.

The serious consequences of Propecia are not worth stopping hair loss. Please consult your physician for further questions.

If you or a loved one are taking Propecia or any other derivative of Finasteride it is important that you contact legal council that has experience in protecting patients from giant pharmaceutical companies. Call Phillips Law Firm for a consultation on your legal options.


December 2011 was not a pretty month for the nearly 10,000 women seeking justice from the birth control drug Yaz. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created two advisory panels earlier in the year in order to investigate the dangers of the active ingredient drospirenone, resulting in even more questions and concerns.

Drospirenone has shown in numerous clinical studies to promote clotting in the blood stream. This has caused the blood of generally healthy and active women who take birth-control pills to clot when it’s not supposed to, creating what is called “deep vein thrombosis.”

Deep vein thrombosis happens when clots form in the legs and stay there until they suddenly dislodge, travel quickly to the lungs, where they get caught and in some cases can cause victims to die of suffocation. These clots can also inhibit movement and overall blood health of the women. Depending on the size and location of the clot they have also been known to cause heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.

However, the findings of the studies seemed to not effect the FDA advisory panels’ controversial decision to keep the drug on the market as the Yaz Lawsuits march on.

Concerns About the FDA Panel

The panel voted 15-11 that the benefits of drospirenone-containing birth control pills, such as Yaz and Yasmin, outweigh the risks. It has now been revealed in a joint investigation conducted by the Washington Monthly and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that at least 4 members of the committee have either done work for the Bayer (the manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin), are licensees, or received research funding from them.

Though this is not unheard of, the problem is that this is the exact margin in which the drug was approved. You see, FDA guidelines state that when advisory committee members have a financial relationship with a drug company whose product is under review, the agency can issue waivers that acknowledge the advisors’ links to industry. This frees them to vote if their expertise is needed and “no other specialists are available.”

However, investigative reports state that the FDA neglected to issue these waivers for this particular panel. According to public records, recently unsealed court documents, and interviews with some of the FDA advisors, at least four of the advisory committee members in this case have served as paid researchers, consultants, “key opinion leaders,” or speakers for Bayer.

Not only this, some have also worked for other manufacturers of drospirenone and may know that the ruling against Yaz may have ripples throughout the industry. On the same panel, it was also found that a fifth advisor agreed to serve as a consultant but never executed the agreement and sixth actually received consulting fees from a law firm that represents Bayer in drug litigation.

It seems like the FDA let everyone in on the panel vote or at some point weren’t paying attention to exactly who had a conflict of interest or not, but that’s not the case. FDA officials did bar one member of the panel from voting. Sidney Wolfe, a former researcher and consumer advocate, was barred on the grounds that he had and “intellectual conflict of interest.”

What effect does this have on the thousands of lawsuits brought by victims of Yaz and Yasmin currently in Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)?

Yaz and Yasmin Lawsuits

As unscrupulous and unjust as this whole business seems, it doesn’t stop the Yaz lawsuits from happening. The growing group of women who are suing Bayer over serious injuries from Yaz and Yasmin, after the December decision, urged U.S. District Judge David Herndon to examine evidence of conflicts of interest at the FDA.

On Jan. 17, the plaintiff steering committee, overseeing the federal litigation, opposed a motion to exclude opinions of former FDA commissioner David Kessler who claims conflicts of interest had stymied a joint meeting of two advisory committees over drospirenone to at the very least issue a black box warning, the next best thing to taking the drug off the market. The black box warning is given to drugs in order to warn the public of the drug’s potential to kill them.

“Due to the complex dynamics that are part of the FDA advisory committee meetings, and in light of the fact that a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts could question the above members’ impartiality, it is my opinion that the FDA advisory committee was not independent of Bayer, and its recommendations and votes need to be viewed as such,” Kessler said.

Certainly, these concerns expose the FDA to more scrutiny, however, nothing’s going to come of it because the majority of the FDA’s funding is derived from the pharmaceutical companies and it would take an act of congress to change that.

Certainly, Bayer’s lawyers will try to use this decision in an effort to slow the process or effect the cost of a settlement because the longer Yaz and Yasmin stay on the market, the longer Bayer is able to cash in on the billions of dollars those drugs pull in annually. You see, 4 million women around the world are currently taking the drug. Many of these countries use the FDA as a bellwether to determine their policy on certain drugs.

Regardless, the Yaz and Yasmin MDL soldier on. There are nearly 10,000 women involved in lawsuits that charge a series of problems caused by the drug including:

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Stroke
  • Gall bladder damage

Because of these very different ailments, Judge Herndon has asked for 9 bellwether lawsuits to take place. These lawsuits are intended to help test the validity of each claim and examine the evidence in each case for these separate ailments.

These bellwether cases are scheduled to begin in April.

Yaz Lawyers

Calls for a new panel have already begun under allegations that Kessler’s investigation and opinions were not adequately reviewed as they were only allowed into evidence two days before the panel’s deliberation. Unfortunately, a new panel – if accepted – would most likely not happen until long after the bellwether trials are well on their way.

If you or someone you know are taking Yaz, Yasmin, or Ocella and have been stricken with one or more of the side effects listed above, some of the best advice you can give is to seek legal council right away to find out your legal options. Protect yourself. Call Phillips Law Firm for a consultation.


Have you ever heard a pharmaceutical company refer to a drug as a “wonder drug?” If you’re anything like us, it makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide, because there has yet been any drug that was a cure for any ailment without it’s almost nearly proportional risks. This is certainly true with AstraZeneca’s “wonder cholesterol drug” Crestor.

Crestor is a member of a category of cholesterol fighting drugs called statins. It’s estimated that about 24 million Americans take statins and that number is growing as the population is seemingly getting unhealthier and the ranks of obese Americans gets larger on a daily basis. However, even the healthiest people can have serious cholesterol problems under the right circumstances with the increased use of transfats in the average American diet.

Statins were initially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for reducing high cholesterol levels in order to prevent repeated heart attacks and strokes in at-risk patients. When used for that purpose, the drugs drive down the risk of another heart attack or stroke by lowering levels of LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol.

This is great news for healthier statin patients, however, Crestor patients also who might be at risk for diabetes may find their chances of catching the deadly disease increased.

Diabetes Study and Statins

According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and released in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine as part of the U.S. government’s Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) there is new evidence of a potential new side effect for some women who take statins, type 2 diabetes. UMMS researchers examined data from WHI’s ambitious national health study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in which 161,808 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 were followed for 15 years, revealing a daunting amount of data, inspiring the UMMS study.

The UMMS study focused on 153,840 of those women who did not have diabetes at enrollment. After adjusting for confounding factors, statin use at baseline was associated with an eye popping 48% increased risk of diabetes. The association was observed for all types of statin medications, not just Crestor, however, Crestor is one of the most proscribed.

“These findings should have a significant impact on current clinical practice, as statin use has soared in recent years,” Senior author Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and an epidemiologist at UMMS said. “With an average of one in four Americans over 45 on these medications, it is imperative that future studies evaluate the risks as well as benefits of statin use among men, women and diverse ethnicities with different risk profiles.”

Doctors don’t know why statins increase diabetes risk but the findings are in line with previous smaller studies.

“We found that this association was true of both low potency and higher potency statins and appeared with shorter term use as well as longer term use,” said Dr. Jo Ann Manson, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Specialists emphasize that, since heart disease is one of the major complications of diabetes, no one should stop taking their medication. But the risk is something to consider and patients should consult their doctors, especially if they are concerned about their risk of diabetes or if it runs in their family.

Crestor and Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients have pancreatic problems and though they can both be hereditary, type 1 is usually detected at birth or early in the person’s life, where as type 2 can be caused by serious health concerns such as weight. This weight is generally caused by a high fat or high sugar diet that can throw off the gluten (sugar) levels in the blood and can have a serious toll on the pancreas.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas in order to regulate the amount of sugar released into the body by the foods we eat. Type II diabetes is when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to get the job done, thus, the pancreas is already malfunctioning, even if it’s functioning normally for a generally healthy individual. By a radical change in diet and exercise, this trend can be reversed. There is thus far no cure for type 1 diabetes.

Perhaps the biggest concern is that Crestor patients are generally already at risk of heart attacks and strokes, two of the main symptoms of weight. By increasing patient’s chances of developing diabetes, they could be further putting the patient at risk due to the fact that the main type 2 diabetes drug approved by the FDA, Actos, has shown to increase the patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke. A vicious circle indeed.

It is up to the patient’s physician to monitor and council their patient as to what pharmaceutical regiment is right for them as well as giving advice regarding diet and exercise. It is the drug company’s job to fully inform the doctor of the risks associated with every drug they sell. However, if a drug or combination of drugs has proven to put the patient on a potentially deadly cycle, then the patient’s only recourse is to seek council from an experienced defective drug attorney that can help them seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

National Crestor Lawyers

If you are a current or recent patient who has been taking Crestor by prescription for any reason and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes since taking the drug, then you most likely have a Crestor Lawsuit.This means that you have been injured or your family member was killed by the serious side effects and may be entitled to compensation.

Phillips Law Firm is currently consulting patients and their families who have been injured by the side effects of Crestor on their legal rights. If you or someone you know has been hospitalized or killed by a Crestor side effect, it is very important that you procure skilled legal council that is experienced indefective drug litigation so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Call Phillips Law Firm for a free consultation.


Psychology professionals and people who suffer from chronic, bipolar, or general depression will tell you that the ailment should not bar women from going on with their lives, creating families and doing all of the normal activities that their peers are engaging in. However, this leads to a deeper debate as to whether the mother should remain on her antidepressant regimen.

It was only in the last decade that the public has been informed that the most common antidepressants, serotonin reuptake antidepressants (SSRIs) like Zoloft, cause birth defects. In 2006 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out a warning and later imposed on Zoloft their most stringent warning, the black box warning, regarding the danger of Zoloft and birth defects.

Birth Defect Research

Recently, a research paper was published in the British Medical Journal. It reported that taking paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft) during the second half of a woman’s pregnancy could more than double the risk that babies will develop persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

PPHN affects about 1 in 1,000 newborns. It has been found that more than double that number of newborns of mothers taking antidepressants in the second half of their pregnancies. It is defined as high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, essentially causing the right ventricle of the heart, which is the main provider of oxygenated blood, to work harder, potentially causing heart failure.

This is a serious ailment and in his article Antidepressants and pregnancy: What to do now, famed psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow gave some recommendations for patients on SSRIs:

1) Women considering pregnancy should try to stop or not to start antidepressants. If the patient requires treatment for depression, they should try psychotherapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).

2) Women who find themselves pregnant while already taking antidepressants should talk to should doctor about very slowly stopping them, but only if you can do so safely, without severe symptoms of depression returning.

3) Never stop antidepressants all of a sudden. This can cause serious symptoms that affect the patient and her unborn child.

4) Do not stop antidepressants during pregnancy if the patient has become suicidal while depressed in the past and antidepressants have been necessary to ward off thoughts of suicide.

5) While many obstetricians and many primary care doctors are comfortable treating depression, Dr. Ablow believes it is best to be seen by a psychiatrist if the patient is taking antidepressants and want to have a baby.

Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuits

Zoloft has been on the market for far longer than 2006 however. It was introduced in 1991 by global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and has enjoyed billion dollar sales since. These new research revelations and warnings by the FDA findings have inspired many parents of PPHN victims who took Zoloft during pregnancy to review the situation that lead to the injury or death of their child.

A growing number of women have found that Zoloft has potentially played a part in the birth defects found in their children either currently alive or deceased. They have done this through the aid of an experienced attorney like those at Phillips Law Firm, who are able to research and extract the right documents and evidence from the correct sources. This has lead to a move towards a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) class action lawsuit.

On January 18, Pfizer filed a motion to consolidate all federal Zoloft birth defect lawsuits. Pfizer requested that they be centralized before one judge for pretrial litigation as part of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL. Currently there are 59 lawsuits alleging Zoloft birth defects involving common claims and questions of fact.

The company, lawyers, and plaintiffs alike prefer the class action system because it expedites and simplifies the process. Pfizer suggested New York because it’s near their headquarters and allows their economic impact on the area to sway the local jury. The company asked the U.S. Judicial Panel to create a Zoloft MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. However, the majority of the complaints are in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where at least 48 of lawsuits are pending.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is expected to hear oral arguments on the motion during a hearing scheduled to occur on May 31, 2012, at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Filing a Zoloft Lawsuit In Washington State

Evidence has not yet presented itself, but there is a suspicion by current plaintiffs that Pfizer may have potentially known about this birth defect issue prior to the FDA warning and chosen not to reveal it to physicians, the FDA, and patients. This sort of revelation could be a major deciding factor in this case.


However, the lawsuits focus mostly on the birth defects, which include:

  • PPHN
  • Heart defects
  • Lung defects
  • Abdominal defects
  • Cranial defects
  • Limb malformations

Just because the majority of the lawsuits are based in Pennsylvania does not mean that it is not potentially a national class action. This means that women effected by Zoloft birth defects in Washington State are still eligible to seek justice and compensation for pain and suffering of both them and their child both alive or deceased.

National Zoloft Attorneys

If you have found that you or a loved one has had a child with a birth defect and they were taking Zoloft during pregnancy, they may be entitled to compensation. It is important that you contact legal council that has experience in protecting patients from giant pharmaceutical companies. Call Phillips Law Firm for a consultation on your legal options.


Since 1992, the global pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer has been offering the antipsychotic/antidepressant drug Zoloft to the public. It was initially approved for the treatment of panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It was later approved for treatment of long-term treatment of pediatric OCD. Zoloft also is the only Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) approved for the long-term treatment of PTSD.

This highly versatile drug is prescribed to nearly 30 million people worldwide each year. Over the past decade alone, Zoloft has been used for more than 10.2 billion patient days of therapy worldwide. This is an amazing amount of prescriptions in proportion to the amount of research done. Much of that research is sponsored by Pfizer in order to expand the drug’s roll in society. Unfortunately, little of the research has gone into one of its worst side effects, birth defects.

Zoloft Side Effects

Depression is very common in pregnant women as their hormones rage out of control. This is exacerbated by the fact pregnancy is accompanied with weight gain and serious life changes furthering feelings of anxiety. Even though Zoloft is accompanied with a black box warning regarding adolescent suicide, it is not accompanied with a warning of birth defects.

Listed Zoloft side effects:

  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea
  • Stomach or abdominal cramps, gas, or pain
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Trouble sleeping

Zoloft and Birth Defects

However, there is research coming out that there are potentially serious birth defects associated with Zoloft. Some of these birth defects are apparent and detectable at the time of birth, some are less apparent and may manifest later, particularly effects on the heart.

Potential Zoloft Birth Defects:

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) – This happens when the newborn’s circulation has not made the normal transition from fetal circulation to normal newborn circulation, because pressure in the lungs is increased and this causes distress.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) – An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. Large and long-standing atrial septal defects can damage the heart and lungs. An adult who has had an undetected atrial septal defect for decades may have a shortened life span from heart failure or high blood pressure in the lungs.

Tetralogy of Fallot – This is a problem with the heart’s structure that’s present at birth. Congenital heart defects change the normal flow of blood through the heart.

Transposition of the Great Arteries – Transposition of the great arteries is a rare heart defect present at birth, in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed (transposed).

Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS) – This is the underdevelopment of the right sided structures of the heart. These defects cause inadequate blood flow to the lungs and thus, a blue or cyanotic infant.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – Hypoplastic left heart syndrome occurs when parts of the left side of the heart do not develop completely.

National Zoloft Lawyers

One of the most horrific things that can happen to a person is to watch their newborn child struggle in intensive care, and through life, knowing that it could have been prevented if they had simply known that there was a remote chance that the drug that they were taking during pregnancy could cause these serious side effects. Throughout the years, people haven’t even known that their child’s birth defects or developmental problems were related to Zoloft.

If you have found that you or a loved one has had a child with a birth defect and they were taking Zoloft during pregnancy, they may be entitled to compensation. It is important that you contact legal council that has experience in protecting patients from giant pharmaceutical companies. Call Phillips Law Firm for a consultation on your legal options.