An antidepressant drug Paxil related suicide lawsuit resulted in a multimillion dollar verdict in favor of the plaintiff. In late April, a Chicago jury awarded widow Wendy Dolin $3 Million in her lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceutical company and developer of the antidepressant Paxil.
Dolin brought the claim against GlaxoSmithKline due to their drug’s lack of proper warning labels and its connection to her late husband Stewart Dolin’s suicide. Ultimately the federal jury concluded, after an almost six-week trial, that GlaxoSmithKline was liable and failed to warn of the possible side effects of the risk of increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors to prescribing doctors and patients taking the medication.
Stewart Dolin was a Chicago lawyer at Reed Smith LLP who served as co-chair of the corporate and securities practice at the firm. He was taking the generic version of the antidepressant Paxil. Stewart Dolin was prescribed and using paroxetine, the generic equivalent to Paxil, for less than a week in July 2010 before he jumped in front of a Chicago Transit Blue Line train, taking his own life at the age of 57.
In a statement made by a spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company attempted to explain that they should not be liable because it did not “manufacture or market” the exact medication that Stewart Dolin was taking. Also, the GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson argued that the labels were sufficient under the federal regulations and that the “label provided complete and adequate warnings during the time period relevant to this lawsuit.”
This was not the first Paxil suicide lawsuit to result in a multimillion dollar verdict in favor of the plaintiff. In Wyoming, a lawsuit was filed in 2001 after Donald Schell, who was taking Paxil, shot and killed himself, his wife, his daughter and his granddaughter.