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Pfizer Seeks New York Venue for Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuits

Filed February 9th, 2012 Julie

The manufacturer of Zoloft has filed a motion to consolidate the many Zoloft birth defect lawsuits plaguing the company. Pfizer has asked that they be centralized before one judge for pretrial litigation as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Zoloft lawsuits have been increasing across the country, filed by plaintiffs who allege that taking the drug during pregnancy caused them to give birth to a child born with one of a variety of severe birth defects. The company says that at least 59 suits have been filed, all of which share similar claims and questions of fact; therefore, the litigation should be consolidated in order to prevent conflicting pretrial rulings, reduce duplicative discovery and to serve the convenience of the parties, the witnesses and the federal court system.

New York is preferable to Pfizer for consolidation because it is close to the company’s headquarters, providing a central location with easy access to important records and witnesses.

Pfizer has also offered the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi and the Nothern District of Ohio as possible alternate locations. Most pending complaints exist in the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania. There are 48 lawsuits pending there.

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