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Woman Wins Lawsuit Against Drug Company for Husband's Death

22 April 2017

Additionally, the Paxil label, GSK says, provided complete and adequate warnings during the time period relevant to this lawsuit.

In a statement, GSK says it is disappointed in the outcome and will be filing an appeal.

The amount was less than the $39 million sought by Wendy Dolin, the widow of Stewart Dolin, who was taking a generic version of Paxil when he committed suicide in 2010, report (sub. req.) and Law360 (sub. req.).

The verdict was announced Thursday, April 20, concluding three days of deliberations that capped off a almost five-week long trial that began in mid-March that pitted plaintiff Wendy Dolin, wife of the deceased lawyer Stewart Dolin, against the United Kingdom-based GSK. Dolin's husband was taking the generic form.

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Dolin's lawyers countered with testimony by Reed Smith Chicago managing partner Michael LoVallo, who said all partners had their compensation cut during the recession.

But the suit claimed Dolin, 57 at the time of his death, and co-chair of Reed Smith's corporate and securities practice, would not have killed himself except for the prescription he began taking days before he jumped in front of the train. The company knew that the drug can lead people towards harm, even if the patients take the generic version of the drug.

In the statement, GSK said it should not be liable because it did not manufacture or market the drug taken by Dolin.

Brent Wisner, a lawyer for Wendy Dolin, said his client was "very pleased" with the verdict, adding that "justice has been served". Court documents indicated Dolin and his family were not facing financial pressure and his family life appeared normal.

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Dolin claimed GlaxoSmithKline failed to warn her husband's doctor that the drug could increase risk of suicidal behavior.

Lawyers for Wendy Dolin had introduced testimony that the defendant, GlaxoSmithKline, was able to avoid including a suicide warning on drug labels by inflating the number of suicides that occurred in a placebo group during clinical trials. And that, GSK's attorneys argued, was "the fundamental problem" with the lawsuit. Last year, the FDA delayed a decision on whether generics makers should hold more responsibility in warning about drug risks.

In his opening statement on March 14, GSK attorney Andrew Bayman said the label was appropriate and its wording was mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Woman Wins Lawsuit Against Drug Company for Husband's Death