JPML Consolidates Effexor Birth Defect Actions In Pa.

By Linda Chiem (August 7, 2013, 1:49 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Tuesday grouped nine product liability suits in Pennsylvania alleging Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s depression and anxiety drug Effexor caused birth defects in children whose mothers used it during pregnancy.

The panel assigned the litigation to U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, saying she is best suited to hear the case since she already is overseeing multidistrict litigation with parallel claims involving Wyeth and its parent Pfizer Inc. over antidepressant Zoloft's alleged links to birth defects.

The panel found that the nine lawsuits pending in California, Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio...

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