Dolin v. GSK Paxil Trial

Dolin v. GSK Paxil Suicide Lawsuit

Baum Hedlund Attorneys Win $3 Million for Widow of Paxil Suicide Victim

The trial of Dolin v. Smithkline Beecham Corp. (also known as GlaxoSmithKline or GSK) began in March of 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiff Wendy Dolin had filed the lawsuit against GSK in 2012 over the alleged paroxetine-induced wrongful death of her late husband, Stewart Dolin, who was a partner at the law firm Reed Smith and who had committed suicide while taking Paxil as prescribed.

As leading attorneys with unparalleled experience in antidepressant defect litigation – including antidepressant birth defects, medication-induced violence, and generic Paxil suicide claims – our partners Michael Baum and Brent Wisner were asked to represent Wendy Dolin in this important matter for her family. At Baum Hedlund, we were honored to give her the representation that she deserved, ultimately securing $3 million from GSK to account for the Dolin family’s suffering and losses.

Learn more about how we can help others with generic Paxil and paroxetine suicide claims. To schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles team, call us at (855) 948-5098 or contact us online.

Background: About the Case

Stewart Dolin first began taking paroxetine in July of 2010. Paxil, the brand name version of generic paroxetine, was researched, developed, manufactured and marketed by GSK, and GSK created (and was responsible for maintaining the accuracy of) the Paxil label.

In the early afternoon on July 15, 2010, Stewart Dolin walked to a Chicago Transit Authority station shortly after a business lunch with a colleague. A woman at the station noticed that Mr. Dolin was pacing and appeared to be agitated as he looked in the direction of an approaching train that was not yet in sight. When the moving train appeared, the woman observed Mr. Dolin leap in front of the train, where he was struck. Ultimately, Mr. Dolin was pronounced dead from the injuries he suffered due to the collision and his contact with the electrified track after the collision.

The Paxil warning label, which by law must be copied by generic manufacturers, states that the risk of suicidality does not extend past the age of 24, even though GSK’s clinical trials showed that taking Paxil increases the risk of suicidality by nearly 700%. A ruling by Judge James B. Zagel of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, permitted Ms. Dolin to proceed with an action against GSK for negligence, products liability, and fraud, even though GSK is not the manufacturer of the specific generic version of Paxil that led to Mr. Dolin’s death. The lawsuit was filed on July 9, 2012.

In the original 2012 complaint, the plaintiff charged GSK with the following:

  • Negligently and fraudulently misrepresenting the safety and efficacy of paroxetine,
  • Manipulating clinical trial data to obscure the suicidal behavior risk associated with paroxetine,
  • Falsely touting the drug’s safety and efficacy through ghostwritten journal articles and through its salesforce and routine visits to physician’s offices.
  • Pharmaceutical Settlement $105 Million
  • Paxil Pediatric Class Action $63 Million
  • Third-Party Payer Class Action $40 Million
  • Defective Drug Class Action $28 Million
  • Celexa-Lexapro Pediatric Class Action $10 Million
  • Drug Injury $9 Million
/
  • Best Law Firms 2020
    Best Law Firms 2020

    The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized the law firms of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, the Miller Firm and Audet & Partners with the 2019 Trial Team of the Year award (in the Mass Torts category) for their work in the groundbreaking case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

  • Elite Trial Lawyers
    Elite Trial Lawyers

    NLJ and American Lawyer Media honor law firms and attorneys as Elite Trial Lawyers for their cutting-edge legal work on behalf of plaintiffs in practice areas ranging from mass torts to securities litigation.

  • AV Top Ranked Law Firm
    AV Top Ranked Law Firm

    Less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation have achieved this ranking. A firm must have a high percentage of lawyers who have achieved the prestigious AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers
    Listed in Best Lawyers

    Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
    National Board of Trial Advocacy

    The National Board of Trial Advocacy is dedicated to bettering the quality of trial advocacy in our nation’s courtrooms and helping consumers find experienced and highly qualified trial lawyers.

  • AV Rated
    AV Rated

    An AV® rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. The rating signifies the highest legal ability, and very high adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

    Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • Nation's Top 1%
    Nation's Top 1%

    The NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Only the elite few attorneys are invited to join the NADC, less than 1% of practicing attorneys in the U.S.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

    The Bar Register is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field.

/

Chicago Judge Denies GSK’s Arguments

In 2014, a federal judge in Chicago denied most of defendant GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) motion for summary judgment in Wendy Dolin’s wrongful death lawsuit. The judge rejected GSK’s argument that the defendant’s common law negligence claim was, in essence, a product liability claim, and he supported the plaintiff’s assertion that GSK was negligent in connection with paroxetine’s design and drug labeling.

In his ruling, Judge Zagel wrote:

“… it was entirely foreseeable that negligence on the part of GSK with respect to paroxetine’s design and warning label could result in injury to a consumer ingesting a subsequent generic version of the drug.”

The fact that GSK did not make the generic drug that Mr. Dolin took, said Judge Zagel, “does not lessen the likelihood that GSK’s allegedly tortious conduct would lead to the Plaintiff’s injury.” Later in his ruling, the judge restated this point, writing, “The negligence here is extrinsic to the Paxil manufacturing process and, if true, could proximately cause injury to consumers of all versions of paroxetine, including the generic version that Mr. Dolin ingested.” Several other arguments by GSK that on their face appeared to be little more than efforts to confuse the issue were also found by the judge to be without merit.

Fighting for Greater Accountability in the Pharmaceutical Industry

After our $3 million victory in her suit against GSK, Ms. Dolin started a unique non-profit organization called MISSD (The Medication-Induced Suicide Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin) dedicated to honoring the memory of Stewart and other victims of akathisia by raising awareness. Her work in this area has led to a groundswell of support and awareness of the risks associated with SSRIs.

At Baum Hedlund, we have the longest track-record handling SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressant litigation in the country, having successfully handled thousands of individual antidepressant-related injury and death cases involving suicide, withdrawal syndrome, and birth defects, since 1990. Our firm has testified before the FDA on several occasions and met with several members of Congress about the adverse reactions and risks concerning SSRI antidepressants. Our work has been acknowledged as helping prompt the FDA to require black box suicidality warnings on all antidepressant labels, and we also uncovered the SSRI cardio-birth defect connection, as well as pharmaceutical industry manipulation of the scientific literature through ghostwriting.

In addition to antidepressant litigation, our firm litigates personal injury, wrongful death and product liability cases and has a long track-record of success, winning numerous multi-million dollar jury awards and over $4 billion for our clients. In short, we become known for improving public safety by holding wrongdoers accountable when they act carelessly, resulting in harm to others.

Contact Baum Hedlund at (855) 948-5098 or submit our online form. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles, California, and the United States.

Background Information

Plaintiff Exhibits Shown During Closing Arguments

The following Dolin v. GSK Paxil trial exhibits have been admitted as evidence and are available to the public:

Documents labeled ‘PTX’ are Plaintiff exhibits, ‘DX’ are Defense exhibits and ‘JX’ are joint Plaintiff/Defense exhibits.

Court Transcripts from the Dolin Paxil Trial

  • Day 1 A: 3/14/17 – Judge addresses jury
  • Day 1 B: 3/14/17 – Plaintiff opening statement by David Rapoport
  • Day 1 C: 3/14/17 – Plaintiff opening statement by David Rapoport resumed, Defense opening statement by Andy Bayman
  • Day 2 A: 3/15/17 – Defense opening statement by Andy Bayman resumed, audio/video tape deposition of Pierre Garnier, John Davies and Geoffrey Dunbar, Dr. David Healy direct by Brent Wisner
  • Day 2 B: 3/15/17 – Dr. David Healy direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 2 C: 3/15/17 – Dr. David Healy direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 3 A: 3/16/17 – Dr. David Healy direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 3 B: 3/16/17 – Dr. David Healy direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 3 C: 3/16/17 – Dr. David Healy direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 4 A: 3/20/17 – Dr. David Healy cross by Andy Bayman
  • Day 4 B: 3/20/17 – Dr. David Healy cross by Andy Bayman
  • Day 4 C: 3/20/17 – Dr. David Healy cross by Andy Bayman, redirect by Brent Wisner
  • Day 5 A: 3/21/17 – Deposition read of Dr. Martin Brecher, Dr. David Ross direct by Brent Wisner
  • Day 5 B: 3/21/17 – Dr. David Ross direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 5 C: 3/21/17 – Dr. David Ross direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 6 A: 3/22/17 – Dr. David Ross direct by Brent Wisner resumed
  • Day 6 B: 3/22/17 – Dr. David Ross cross by Andy Bayman
  • Day 6 C: 3/22/17 – Dr. David Ross cross by Andy Bayman resumed
  • Day 7 A: 3/23/17 – Dr. David Ross cross by Andy Bayman resumed
  • Day 7 B: 3/23/17 – Dr. David Ross cross by Andy Bayman resumed
  • Day 7 C: 3/23/17 – Dr. David Ross cross by Andy Bayman resumed, Dr. David Ross redirect by Brent Wisner
  • Day 8 A: 3/27/17 – Dr. David Ross redirect by Brent Wisner resumed, Dr. David Ross further recross by Andy Bayman, Dr. Martin Sachman direct by David Rapoport, Dr. Martin Sachman cross by Todd Davis
  • Day 8 B & C: 3/27/17 – Dr. Martin Sachman cross by Todd Davis resumed, Dr. Martin Sachman redirect by David Rapoport, Dr. Martin Sachman recross by Todd Davis
  • Day 9 A: 3/28/17 – Audiotaped deposition of Jeffery Pecoraro, video deposition of Terry Schwartz, video deposition of Sydney Reed
  • Day 9 B: 3/28/17 – Video deposition of Sydney Reed resumed, video deposition of Dr. Seoka Sahlstrom
  • Day 10 A: 3/29/17 – Video deposition of Sydney Reed resumed, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen direct by David Rapoport
  • Day 10 B: 3/29/17 – Dr. Joseph Glenmullen direct by David Rapoport resumed
  • Day 11 A: 3/30/17 – Dr. Joseph Glenmullen cross by Todd Davis
  • Day 11 B: 3/30/17 – Dr. Joseph Glenmullen cross by Todd Davis resumed, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen redirect by David Rapoport
  • Day 12 A: 4/3/17 – Michael LoVallo direct by David Rapoport, Michael LoVallo cross by Andy Bayman
  • Day 12 B: 4/3/17 – Michael LoVallo cross by Andy Bayman resumed, Michael LoVallo redirect by David Rapoport, Michael LoVallo recross by Andy Bayman, Wendy Dolin direct by David Rapoport, Wendy Dolin cross by Ursula Henninger
  • Day 13 A: 4/4/17 – Wendy Dolin cross by Ursula Henninger resumed, Wendy Dolin redirect by David Rapoport, Robert Gibbons direct by Todd Davis
  • Day 13 B: 4/4/17 – Robert Gibbons direct by Todd Davis resumed
  • Day 14 A: 4/5/17 – Robert Gibbons direct by Todd Davis resumed, Robert Gibbons cross by Brent Wisner
  • Day 14 B: 4/5/17 – Robert Gibbons cross by Brent Wisner resumed, Robert Gibbons redirect by Todd Davis, Robert Gibbons recross by Brent Wisner, Videotaped deposition of John Iino
  • Day 15 A: 4/6/17 – Videotaped deposition of John Iino resumed, videotaped deposition of David DeNinno, Dr. John Kraus direct by Andy Bayman
  • Day 15 B: 4/6/17 – Dr. John Kraus direct by Andy Bayman resumed
  • Day 16 A: 4/10/17 – Dr. John Kraus direct by Andy Bayman resumed
  • Day 16 B: 4/10/17 – Dr. John Kraus direct by Andy Bayman resumed; Dr. John Kraus cross by Brent Wisner
  • Day 17 A: 4/11/17 – Dr. John Kraus cross by Brent Wisner resumed; Dr. John Kraus redirect by Andy Bayman; Dr. John Kraus – recross by Brent Wisner; Dr. John Kraus – further redirect by Andy Bayman; Laura Krueger deposition read by Todd Davis; video deposition of Edward Walsh played
  • Day 17 B: 4/11/17 – Dr. Anthony Rothschild direct by Andy Bayman
  • Day 18 A: 4/12/17 – Dr. Anthony Rothschild direct by Andy Bayman resumed
  • Day 19 A: 4/13/17 – Dr. Anthony Rothschild direct by Andy Bayman resumed, Dr. Anthony Rothschild cross by David Rapoport, Dr. Anthony Rothschild redirect by Andy Bayman
  • Day 19 B: 4/13/17 – Dr. Anthony Rothschild redirect by Andy Bayman resumed, Dr. David Healy rebuttal direct by Brent Wisner, Dr. David Healy rebuttal cross by Todd Davis
  • Day 20: 4/17/17 – Final opening statement by David Rapoport, Closing arguments by Andy Bayman and Ursula Henninger, Closing argument rebuttal by David Rapoport
  • Day 21: 4/18/17 – Charge to the jury – jury instructions
  • Day 23: 4-20-2017 – Jury Verdict Read

Firm Reviews

What Our Clients Are Saying
  • Top Legal Minds in the Country

    “The Baum, Hedlund firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.”

    - From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
  • I Can’t Imagine a Better Law Firm

    “Multiple lawyers recommended Baum Hedlund to me and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their work.”

    - Best Law Firms Survey
  • Diligent & Professional Representation

    “Thanks to your efforts I was able to recover from a tragic experience and turn my life around for the best.”

    - W.T.
  • Our Best Interest Was Always Number One on Your List

    “A special thank you to your Spanish-speaking staff for the extra effort put into this case. The language barrier was never a problem, and we are so very thankful to them. Your name holds much respect in our family.”

    - G.C. & C.C
  • We Have Never Met a More Wonderful Group of People

    “It is obvious that the people at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, & Goldman believe in what they do. And that you all really care about your clients.”

    - The B. Family
/

Contact Us Today

No Fees Unless We Win
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.