Rottenstein Law Group Learns of Zoloft Manufacturer's Motion to Consolidate 59 Cases into One Multidistrict Litigation

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The Rottenstein Law Group, which represents clients with claims stemming from the birth defects caused by the antidepressant Zoloft, has learned that Pfizer, Zoloft's manufacturer, has filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate for pretrial proceedings a group of cases filed against Pfizer in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio.

Pfizer filed the motion on Jan. 18 under the following multi-district litigation number: MDR 2342. The motion's stipulations and some background on the cases that the motion seeks to consolidate are outlined in a Jan. 20, 2012, article on Law.com.

As the Law.com article states, all of the cases in the group that is the subject of Pfizer's motion allege that the children of mothers who took Zoloft during their pregnancies suffered birth defects as a result of that Zoloft use. Pfizer's motion requests that the consolidated multidistrict litigation of those cases take place in the Southern District of New York, where Pfizer is headquartered. Since New York has three international airports at its disposal, Pfizer asserts in its motion, New York would be a convenient location for the cases' plaintiffs, who are scattered throughout the country.

Pfizer named the Northern District of Mississippi, the Southern District of Mississippi or the Northern District of Ohio as alternative locations for the proposed multidistrict litigation, stating that those locations would also be convenient for the cases' many plaintiffs.

Almost 50 of the cases that are the subject of Pfizer's motion had been removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to Law.com. "Pfizer argued in the motion [to consolidate the cases into one multiditsrict litigation] that in the Pennsylvania cases plaintiffs have created an artificial concentration of cases in Pennsylvania by ... fraudulently joining Wolters Kluwer Health, a Pennsylvania corporation, as a defendant, in order to defeat diversity jurisdiction," the Law.com article states.

"The plaintiffs' theory against Wolters Kluwer Health is that it was negligent in the publication of the risks and benefits of using Zoloft during pregnancy in its patient education monographs," the Law.com article continues. "Pfizer argues that the division that published the monographs, Medi-Span, is headquartered in Indiana and has offices in Missouri, so Pennsylvania has no 'real nexus' to the out-of-state plaintiffs, defendants that the drug company argues are located elsewhere and the underlying allegedly negligent transactions."

RLG’s Zoloft Lawsuit and Birth Defects Information Center, at http://www.zoloftsertralinebirthdefects.com, has features that allow for easy sharing, including links for automatic posting on Facebook and Twitter, specifically to enable visitors to spread the word about Zoloft and the dangers of the drug. The Rottenstein Law Group, a personal injury firm, encourages visitors to link to its sites from their own blogs and websites to spread information about defective medical products and dangerous drugs.

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Rochelle Rottenstein, Esq.
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