Tuesday, March 04, 2014
GSK to Face Negligence Claims in Adult Paxil Suicide Trial
Hot off the press this one folks!
GSK have been told by a federal judge that they must face a negligence claim brought against them by Wendy Dolin, a widow of a lawyer who claims her husband killed himself after taking a generic version of Paxil.
GSK and Mylan Inc, which sells a generic version of Paxil, had previously asked U.S. District Judge James Zagel in the Northern District of Illinois to throw out the 2012 lawsuit.. Dolin's lawsuit claims that GSK failed to warn users who took a generic version about a potential increase in suicidal behavior.
Dolin is the widow of Stewart Dolin, a partner in Reed Smith's Chicago corporate law practice group who killed himself in 2010 after taking a generic form of Paxil.
The U.S. District Judge told Mylan that they would not have to face any trial but said Glaxo was responsible for the generic drug's design and warning label and would have to face negligence claims.
Wendy Dolin is in good hands as the case has been filed on her behalf by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, the US law firm who have successfully hauled GSK over the coals on a number of occasions.
In June 2010 Stewart Dolin visited his family doctor who wrote him a prescription for Paxil for "work-related anxiety and depression".
Dolin's prescription was dispensed but he received the generic form, manufactured by Mylan.
Six days after beginning his course of the generic Paxil, Dolin left his office shortly after having returned from lunch with a business associate. He walked to a nearby Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line station at Washington and Dearborn in downtown Chicago. As a northbound train approached the station, Mr. Dolin leaped in front of it to his death. Blood tests taken with Mr. Dolin’s autopsy were positive for paroxetine.
The complaint alleges that Dolin, "exhibited classic symptoms of akathisia immediately before his death. A nurse alleged to have been on the platform at the same time as Mr. Dolin noticed that Mr. Dolin was “very agitated, pacing back and forth and looking down the tracks.”"
Dolin's widow, Wendy, maintains that "GSK nevertheless had knowledge that paroxetine use carried a 6.7 times greater risk of suicidal behavior in adults compared to a placebo. Plaintiff asserts that GSK has been aware of paroxetine’s association with this increased risk for over 20 years. Plaintiff asserts that GSK concealed the risk, however, and promoted its version of paroxetine, Paxil, as safe and effective."
Wendy Dolin also asserted that "Mylan was aware, or should have been aware, of this undisclosed connection between paroxetine and suicidal behavior, and the misrepresentation of the data supporting it. Nonetheless, Mylan continued manufacturing and selling generic paroxetine without notifying the medical community of the risk associated with its product."
GSK have, for many years, claimed that Paxil does not cause suicide in adults taking the drug, in fact their labeling only warns of an increased risk of suicidal behavior in users 25 years old or younger. Even drug regulators in the US [FDA] and UK [MHRA] have sided with GSK on this issue.
In 2001 a federal jury in Cheyenne, Wyoming, ordered SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) to pay $6.4 million to relatives of Donald Schell.
Schell, 60, had been taking Paxil for just 48 hours when he shot and killed his wife, his daughter, his granddaughter and himself.
GSK were then defended by King & Spalding. It's King & Spalding who are defending GSK again. I do love a good brawl. My money is on Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.
Baum's press release can be read here, also available from this link is the full judgement from U.S. District Judge James Zagel.
Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with GSK's lawyers King & Spalding. I love to see them lose and hate to see them offer paltry amounts of money to victims of Paxil. I wrote about them and a story I've been sitting on here.
The Dolin v GSK case is a trial I'll be keeping a close eye on. Who knows, I just might make it out there and sit in the gallery with nothing but a pencil and notebook...oh, and some popcorn and a fruity based drink...it won't be Ribena though.
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Adults, Baum Hedlund, Donald Schell, Glaxo, GLAXOSMITHKLINE, gsk, Mylan, Paroxetine, Paxil, Reed Smith's, Stewart Dolin, Suicide, Wendy Dolin