Superior Court Affirms Dismissal of Paxil Birth Defect Case Lacking Proximate Causation


In its March 4, 2013 non-precedential decision in Pettit v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, No. 850 EDA 2012, the Pennsylvania Superior Court (applying Ohio law) affirmed an order of Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sandra Mazer Moss granting summary judgment to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a case alleging that the GSK-manufactured antidepressant medication Paxil caused birth defects.

Plaintiffs-appellants Mary and Dean Pettit and the estate of their deceased daughter, Danielle Pettit, claimed that Mary having ingested Paxil during the first trimester of her pregnancy was the cause of Danielle’s congenital heart defect, known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which led to her death. In their complaint, the Pettits brought negligent failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, and design defect claims against GSK.

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