Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits: Update
Last month, a status update letter relating to the ongoing Zoloft MDL (multidistrict litigation) was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the litigation proceedings are underway. The letter stated that there are now at least 336 cases transferred to the MDL, with an additional 50+ lawsuits pending in the federal court system (but not currently part of the MDL). This number has increased from 92 back when the lawsuits were first centralized by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). Motions to remand the cases back to the state courts in which they were initially filed are pending.
In addition, there are several Zoloft birth defects lawsuits pending in state courts around the country, including Missouri, Illinois, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Complaints have been filed with these courts on behalf of 23 families. All plaintiffs are making similar allegations against Pfizer. Zoloft, the brand name for sertraline, is used to treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The complaints allege that using the drug during pregnancy has caused serious birth defects, including heart defects and pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Other complications include clubfoot and omphalocele, a type of hernia in which the intestines and other abdominal organs stick out of the navel.
The MDL was initially formed on April 17, 2012. Presiding over the cases is Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. Consolidation was established in order to expedite the litigation process. Even with a more efficient legal process, it can still take months and even years for cases to be resolved.
For patients awaiting a jury award from manufacturer Pfizer, Zoloft birth defects lawsuit funding may be a good option. Unlike more traditional loans, legal loans for Zoloft plaintiffs come in the form of a pre settlement cash advance that does not need to be repaid until the plaintiff wins compensation.
Bellwether trial dates set
Judge Rufe has ordered the selection of certain lawsuits for bellwether trials, which are designed to gauge typical jury responses to evidence. Plaintiffs will choose 12 lawsuits and the defendants 13 to create a pool from which the bellwether cases will be selected. The first of the bellwether trials is set to be heard by October 13, 2014.
Due to the fact that even the earliest cases to go to trial may take years to resolve, many plaintiffs with cases pending in the MDL or elsewhere may require Zoloft birth defects lawsuit funding to help them remain financially stable as they await trial.
The Judge has ruled that, by May 15, 2013, both parties must have submitted joint or competing proposals for which cases will be selected for bellwether trials. Depositions will also be taken, in order to gather all the evidence from expert witnesses, including doctors.
Zoloft birth defects lawsuit funding can bridge the gap
Plaintiffs may find themselves waiting for months or years before their case is resolved. Legal funding is designed to help them cover medical bills, ongoing care expenses, and lost wages as they await their day in court.
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