Zoloft MDL presiding Judge Cynthia M. Rufe, E.D. Pa., granted the plaintiffs motion to present a new pharmaceutical expert witness. Hundreds of Zoloft birth defect lawsuits have been filed. The antidepressant manufactured by Pfizer is tied to an increased risk of defects like persistent pulmonary hypertension in infants. Other serious side effects include seizures, heart defects, autism, and malformations of the skull or brain.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania website: About MDL 2342.
This Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL") was created by Order of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ("MDL Panel") on April 17, 2012. The typical case involves claims by a plaintiff from anywhere in the United States against defendant Pfizer, Inc., and may name other defendants as well.
In its April 17, 2012 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions in this MDL "involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation."
The MDL Panel noted that the actions "involve allegations that Zoloft, a prescription medication approved for the treatment of depression and other ailments, causes birth defects in children when their mothers ingest the drug while pregnant." Pfizer and the other defendants deny these allegations. The Panel further found that "[c]entralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary."
Official contacts are as follows:
Presiding Judge: The Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe
Secretary/Civil Deputy: Velma T. White
Courtroom Deputy: Erica Pratt
United States District Court
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Telephone: (267) 299-7490
Fax: (267) 299-5077
Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel: Stephen A. Corr, Esq.
Stark & Stark, P.C.
777 Township Line Road
Yardley, PA 19067-5559
Telephone: (267) 759-9684
Fax: (267) 907-9659
Defendants' Lead and Liaison Counsel: Mark S. Cheffo, Esq.
Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
51 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10010
Telephone: (212) 849-7000
Plaintiffs' Steering Committee Co-Lead Counsel:
Dianne M. Nast, Esq.
1101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Telephone: (215) 923-9300
Fax: (215) 923-9302
Mark P. Robinson, Jr., Esq.
Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc.
19 Corporate Plaza Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Telephone: (949) 720-1288
Fax: (949) 720-1292