Dangerous Drugs

Lawsuits: Lexapro Can Cause Birth Defects

This Alert Affects:

Women who took Lexapro during pregnancy and delivered children with birth defects.

Injuries
Birth defects including malformations of the heart, abdomen, or cranium.
Manufacturer
Forest Labs, Inc.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro belongs to a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
FDA Warning
In July 2006, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory involving Lexapro and other SSRIs. According to the agency, a study suggested that women who use an SSRI after their 20th week of pregnancy are at a higher risk of delivering infants with a life-threatening lung condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
Type of Lawsuit
Mass Tort

Women across the country are filing lawsuits claiming that use of the antidepressant Lexapro caused them to deliver children with serious birth defects. These women allege that their children were born with cranial, facial, and limb malformations, as well as serious heart and organ defects, after taking the drug during pregnancy. They accuse the drug’s manufacturer, Forest Labs, Inc., of releasing a defective drug into the marketplace and are seeking compensation from the company for their children’s injuries.

If you delivered an infant with a birth defect after taking Lexapro, you may be able to file a lawsuit against Forest Labs to collect compensation for your losses. For a free case reviews do not hesitate to contact us today for more information on your potential legal rights.

Why Are Women Filing Lawsuits Against the Maker of Lexapro?

Lawsuits involving pharmaceuticals are often filed when patients believe they were harmed by a drug that is defective in design, manufacture, or marketing.

Women who have filed lawsuits against Forest Labs allege that Lexapro suffers from all three of these defects. They claim the company defectively manufactured and designed the drug, and failed to provide adequate warnings to doctors and patients. The mothers, who delivered children with birth injuries including cleft lip and palate, spina bifida, and club foot, accuse Forest Labs of failing to warn women that the drug would cross the placenta into an unborn fetus’ system.

According to the lawsuits, Forest Labs conducted tests on Lexapro and knew that the drug could cause congenital birth defects; however, the company failed to disclose these findings to the public and continued to market the antidepressant to expectant mothers and women of child-bearing age, the suits claim. The mothers allege they would not have taken the drug had they been properly warned about the effects of Lexapro on an unborn fetus.

Are the Lexapro Lawsuits Continuing as a Class Action?

This is not a class action lawsuit. These lawsuits are being filed individually by women who took Lexapro during their pregnancies and gave birth to children with congenital defects.

Some believe that a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) may form on behalf of Lexapro victims. In an MDL, all federally-filed lawsuits are transferred to one court before a single judge; however, each plaintiff will retain her own attorney, as well as her right to an individual award. An MDL helps to ensure consistent rulings when a large number of lawsuits are making similar accusations, and saves time and money for everyone involved.

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?

Most attorneys handling these lawsuits work on a contingency-fee basis. This means the lawyer will collect, in most cases, one-third of the award if the suit is successful. If the lawsuit is unsuccessful, the client will not have to pay the lawyer for any work done on the case.

What Birth Defects Have Been Associated with Lexapro?

Women who have filed lawsuits against Forest Labs allege that they gave birth to infants with the following birth defects:

  • Heart Defects
    • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
    • Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defects
    • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
    • Coarctation of the Aorta
    • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Abdominal Defects
    • Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
    • Omphalocele
  • Cranial Defects
    • Craniosynostosis
    • Anencephaly
  • Malformations
    • Club Foot
    • Cleft Palate or Lip
    • Anal Atresia

If you took Lexapro and gave birth to an infant with an abdominal, cranial, or heart defect, you may be entitled to compensation. Fill out our free case review form today to find out if you can file a lawsuit.

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Case Resources

Shuck et al. v. Forest Laboratories Inc. et al. Complaint
Case number 1:14-cv-0114, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
New England Journal of Medicine Study, February 2006
Researchers find that use of SSRIs in late pregnancy may cause persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), which is associated with substantial infant mortality and morbidity.
FDA Drug Safety Communication, July 2006
The FDA warns that use of SSRIs including Lexapro late in pregnancy may be linked to persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), a life-threatening lung condition in children.