In June of this year, after conducting a lengthy evidentiary hearing, the Court ruled that Plaintiffs’ expert epidemiologist could not testify that Zoloft causes birth defects in humans exposed to Zoloft during fetal development. After entering the Order excluding Plaintiffs’ expert from testifying, the Court stayed, or suspended, all proceedings in the case, including the bellwether trials originally scheduled for late 2014 and early 2015. On Sept. 11, 2014, the Court permitted Plaintiffs to file a request to allow the identification of a new expert. On Nov. 4, 2014, the Court:
• permitted Plaintiffs to file a request for the Court to reconsider its decision to exclude Plaintiffs’ expert testimony, and
• permitted Pfizer to ask that all cases be dismissed based upon lack of medical evidence that Zoloft causes birth defects in humans.
Pfizer contended that Plaintiffs cannot prove their case without the excluded expert testimony. Pfizer further contended that the Court was correct in excluding Plaintiffs’ expert, and Plaintiffs should not be allowed to identify a new expert following the exclusion of the original expert.
Plaintiffs researched the numerous underlying legal issues and briefed the Court through appropriate court filings. Last week, the Court entered its Order allowing Plaintiffs to designate a new expert to testify that Zoloft causes heart defects in humans exposed to Zoloft in utero. We expect the Court to enter an expedited scheduling order within the coming weeks that will set deadlines for bellwether trials later this year.
The court’s Order is obviously great news for the litigation. If you have a claim you would like for our lawyers to review or if you have any questions regarding the Zoloft litigation, contact Roger Smith at 800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com. Roger is a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section and is involved in this litigation.
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