Pregnancy is a difficult and emotional time for many women, but this experience can be even more challenging for women who suffer from depression. Many women did not discontinue their antidepressant medications during pregnancy and some drug manufacturers like Pfizer are accused of advertising SSRI drugs like Zoloft to pregnant women, despite the fact that studies have revealed that SSRI antidepressants can cause birth defects.
Antidepressants that fall in the family of SSRIs — selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – include Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac. Lawyers are now filing suits in cases of serious birth defects that are believed to have resulted from taking antidepressants while pregnant. This pharmaceutical, when prescribed and taken during pregnancy, can result in lifelong injuries and effects, some of which have no treatment or cure. Doctors have reported a variety of birth defects, ranging from neural tube defects and brain anomalies, to clubfoot and cleft lip.
According to a 2006 public health advisory issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, during the first trimester, there is an elevated risk — up to six times greater than the general population — of birth defects.
If you or a loved one took an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy and had a child with birth defects, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Based in Orlando, Florida, personal injury and product liability lawyers with the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. are committed to putting the client first, resulting in smoother, less stressful legal proceedings.
Contact the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A.’s Florida lawyers to discuss your case in a free case consultation. Call 407-422-2188.
A Look at the Issues Surrounding Antidepressant Lawsuits for Birth Defects
The Orlando lawyers of the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. field lots of questions from clients, many of whom are unfamiliar with the legal process and are therefore unsure of what to expect. We believe that by answering these questions, it demystifies the process and eliminates much of the stress that our clients experience.
Our legal team has compiled information on some of the most common questions surrounding antidepressant lawsuits related to cases where a mother took Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride), Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (fluvoxamine sertraline) and other SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy and had a child with birth defects.
What Are the Most Common Antidepressant Birth Defects That Are Reported?
Some of the most common antidepressant birth defects can include neural tube defects, heart deformities like atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects, craniofacial defects, spina bifida, cleft lip, cleft palate, clubfoot and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN).
Some of these conditions, such as PPHN, can be potentially fatal, while other conditions like neural tube defects can result in lifelong physical and mental impairments. The risk of PPHN may also be higher in mothers who take SSRIs during pregnancy after the 20th week of gestation.
A study into Zoloft and pregnancy revealed that babies born to mothers who took this medication saw double the risk of developing autism.
What are the Legal Grounds for Filing a Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft Lawsuits?
The legal grounds of your case will vary depending upon the precise drug that’s involved. For instance, there have been thousands of cases filed against Eli Lilly & Company, the manufacturer of Prozac, on grounds that the company was negligent in its failure to warn physicians and patients about the dangers of taking SSRI antidepressants like Prozac while pregnant.
In the case of Pfizer, maker of Zoloft, it’s alleged that the drugmaker actually promoted its product to pregnant mothers, despite studies and other data suggesting a link between birth defects and Zoloft.
Birth defect lawsuits against Zoloft have even been consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings, which are being handled by Judge Cynthia M. Rufe, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Adults who were born with birth defects after their mother took Zoloft while pregnant have also filed suit. These are just a few of the proceedings underway against the drug companies behind SSRI antidepressants that have been linked to birth defects.
What Happens When I File a Lawsuit for Antidepressant Birth Defects?
To file a successful lawsuit, the plaintiff’s attorney must provide evidence that clearly illustrates the link between the SSRI antidepressant medication, the victim, the birth defects that the child suffered and your losses/damages. Prescription histories, evidence from your physicians and expert testimony will all be presented.
Your attorney will also provide information on the dollar value of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, specialized care expenses, pain and suffering and beyond.
In some cases, dangerous or defective drug lawsuits do not go to court. The drugmakers may offer a settlement, allowing you to avoid the time and effort involved with going to trial. Your attorney can negotiate and provide you with insight as to whether the settlement offer is fair.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Florida Lawyer to Help with a SSRI Antidepressant Lawsuit?
The legal fees associated with filing a dangerous drug lawsuit can vary depending upon how much is recovered for the client. This is because it’s customary to accept the case on a contingency basis, meaning there is no up-front fee. Instead, the legal fees are deducted as a percentage of the settlement or jury award.
Trust Our Team of Top Florida Attorneys to File Your Antidepressant Lawsuit for Birth Defects
Caring for a child with birth defects can be emotionally and financially taxing and many children experience serious effects for a lifetime. In some cases, the child does not survive to adulthood, leaving the parents and other loved ones facing profound sadness.
At the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A., our Florida lawyers are committed to aggressively pursuing our clients’ Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil lawsuits. SSRI birth defects can be debilitating, but it is our goal to help you recover the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills and other expenses stemming from the child’s disability. We will also work to help you obtain compensation to cover future expenses for your child.
Our legal team takes a unique, “clients first” approach in everything that we do. Our goal is to make the legal process as straightforward and as stress-free as possible. In addition to handling product liability and dangerous drugs claims, we also handle other cases like medical malpractice, wrongful death cases and personal injury lawsuits.
Contact the Law Office of Hogan & Hogan, P.A. today to arrange a confidential case consultation. Remember, the law limits the timeframe for filing a legal claim so call today. Contact our Central Florida lawyers at 407-422-2188.