Generic Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Paxil Suicide Case Set For Trial

For those who have been following this particular case you'll know some of the methods GlaxoSmithKline's lawyers, King & Spalding, have been using to try and get the case dismissed before it goes to trial.


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 (Paxil)

Stewart's wife, Wendy Dolin, filed suit against GSK claiming Paxil had induced the suicide of her husband. ((Dolin v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. et al., case number 1:12-cv-06403)

Legal Background

First off, GSK argued that Dolin was taking the generic version of Paxil marketed and manufactured by Mylan, ergo they were not responsible for the drug inducing suicide. However, a  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.

Since filing, Dolin has been sent more than 30 subpoenas from GSK, they have also made over 70 record requests and have shown the Dolin children their father’s private medical notes. To top it all, GSK’s lawyers have been asking (goading) Wendy about her love life since her husband killed himself.

GSK then turned their attention to four expert witnesses. One of those witnesses, Dr. David Healy, came under heavy fire from Glaxo’s gunslingers, King & Spalding. They had accused Healy of being a radical activist who held an extreme bias against GSK. Furthermore, GSK had probed into Healy’s private life and had, during a 10 hour deposition, talked more about his finances than the actual science behind Paxil and induced suicide.

GSK filed motions to exclude all four expert testimonies from the trial, they were denied these motions by Judge James B. Zagel who, in summary, said...

“I am denying all four of GSK’s motions to exclude. The Daubert criteria are satisfied when a well-credentialed expert provides well-supported opinions that are relevant and reliable.”

Moving Forward

Yesterday (Tuesday Jan 12) Judge James B. Zagel ruled that the suit filed by Dolin should now move straight to trial. Glaxo, via their attorneys, weren't happy and, according to Law360, spent nearly an hour arguing that David Healy, an expert for Dolin, should reveal documents tied to a patient of his who committed suicide. However, privacy laws suggest that Healy could be fired if he were to reveal patient information. One would have thought that Glaxo know all about privacy laws, it was they who told Healy that he could not reveal any information he gleaned by looking at GSK's own internal documents in a previous case against them, a case incidentally that implicated Paxil and suicide. GSK lost that case - Judgement below.

Dolin is represented by Michael L. Baum, Bijan Esfandiari, Frances M. Phares and R. Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman PC and David Rapoport, Joshua Weisberg and Lindsey Epstein of Rapoport Law Offices PC.

GlaxoSmithKline is represented by Alan S. Gilbert of Dentons, Andrew T. Bayman, Todd P. Davis and Heather M. Howard of King & Spalding LLP and Robert E. Glanville, Tamar P. Halpern and Eva Canaan of Phillips Lytle LLP.

Here's Wendy speaking openly about her husband's induced suicide. She speaks with grace, courage and dignity, quite the opposite to how GlaxoSmithKline and their highly paid attorneys have treated her.

Bob Fiddaman.

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