Did Antidepressant Drug Cause Attorney to Commit Suicide?

A Chicago jury awarded $3 million to the widow of an attorney who committed suicide after taking an antidepressant drug. Stewart Dolin, a partner and corporate attorney at Reed Smith law firm, was 57 when he stepped in front of a Blue Line train in July of 2010. Dolin had been taking the antidepressant paroxetine, the generic form of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug Paxil.

Manufacturer Failed to Warn Doctors of Antidepressant Drug Risks

After Dolin’s death, his widow Wendy Dolin filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline. Her lawsuit claimed the drug company failed to warn her husband’s doctor that Paxil increases the risk of suicidal behavior. The jury found the drug manufacturer negligent for failing to include the warning on the drug’s label.

However, GlaxoSmithKline continues to argue that they should not be liable for the harm done by the generic version of their antidepressant drug. They claim Paxil’s label provides sufficient warnings of the risks. The company plans to appeal the decision.

Can You Sue a Generic Drug Company?

Dolin’s lawsuit initially named the generic drug manufacturer and its distributor. However, the judge released them from the suit, since they do not control the drug’s label.

FDA regulations make it nearly impossible to sue a generic drug company for failure-to-warn or inadequate labeling. According to the FDA, generic drug manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the warning labels on their drugs are the same as the brand-name version of the reference listed drug (RLD). Thus, the generic drug company is not responsible for the label on their drug. In fact, unless ordered by the FDA, generic drug manufacturers are unable to alter the label, except to mimic the RLD. The branded drug manufacturer assumes the responsibility of ensuring warning labels are accurate. So, if a consumer is harmed by a generic drug because of inadequate labeling, they will likely need to file suit against the branded drug manufacturer.

“Consumers deserve to know the risks associated with taking any medication. Thus, this win is a huge victory for consumer rights,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured by a drug and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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