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$3M Awarded to Widow in Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

This is a settlement for the Paxil Suicide lawsuit.

Santa Clara, CA: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will pay $3 million in damages having been found liable for the death of Stewart Dolin, a partner at the law firm Reed Smith LLP. The money will be paid to his widow, who filed the suit claiming that a generic version of GSK’s antidepressant Paxil (paroxetine) caused her husband to commit suicide.

The jury heard testimony from Wendy Dolin and others over the five week trial, that laid the blame for Dolin’s suicide in 2010 on the influence of generic paroxetine, which belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The jury awarded Wendy Dolin $2 million for the wrongful death of Stewart Dolin and $1 million for the pain he suffered in the days leading up to his death because of a dangerous side effect that his wife said caused him to take his own life. She had asked originally for $39 million in damages, but has agreed to the $3 million award.

According to Dolin’s testimony, in the days leading up to her husband’s death he became restless and agitated, symptoms of a listed side effect of Paxil, called akathisia.

The suit alleged that GSK knew about the increased risk of suicide for adults taking paroxetine, particularly in the early days of treatment. Dolin claimed that the pharmaceutical company hid data form the Food and Drug Administration for decades, which showed a link between suicidal ideation and Paxil. She further testified that while her husband was sometimes anxious, he had developed coping mechanisms to deal with that anxiety and was seeing a therapist at the time of his death.

In its defense, GSK said it isn’t responsible for Stewart Dolin’s death, and spokeswoman Frances DeFranco said the company would be appealing the verdict.

“GSK maintains that because it did not manufacture or market the medicine ingested by Mr. Dolin, it should not be liable,” DeFranco said in an emailed statement. In 2014, Mylan NV, who was the manufacturer of the generic version, was dismissed from the case after U.S. District Judge James Zagel ruled that GSK, as the maker of the brand-name drug Paxil, was responsible for ensuring the label was accurate. The ruling remains controversial.

The case is Dolin v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. et al., case number 1:12-cv-06403, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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Published on Apr-21-17


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