A judicial panel has ruled that litigation by multiple parties against Pfizer, Inc., over birth defects allegedly caused by the antidepressant Zoloft, will be transferred to and consolidated in the federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The proceedings will consolidate 57 different actions filed in six federal court districts around the country. In the transfer order released on April 17, members of the judicial panel stated that the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is an ideal location because more than half of the related legal actions are pending there, including the one that was first filed. In further support of its decision, the panel noted that “Judge Cynthia M. Rufe is an experienced transferee judge with the willingness and ability to handle this litigation.”
The lawsuits center on complaints that Zoloft causes birth defects in the children of mothers who take it while pregnant. The panel expects additional lawsuits to be filed in the future.
The transfer order can be found here: http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/Panel_Orders/MDL-2342-Initial_Transfer.pdf