06/08/01

Jury Awards $6.4 Million In Killings Tied to Drug

THE NEW YORK TIMES
June 8, 2001, Friday
By PHILIP J. HILTS (NYT)

A Wyoming jury has awarded $6.4 million to the family of a man who killed three
relatives and himself after taking the antidepressant Paxil.

Though many lawsuits have claimed that antidepressants in the same class of drugs, which includes Prozac and Zoloft, have caused suicidal or violent behavior, this is the first case a plaintiff has won, lawyers in the case said.

Charles F. Preuss, a lawyer for the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline said the verdict on Wednesday was a surprise.

''This issue was raised in the early 90's, and since that time all the scientific articles have concluded that these antidepressants do not cause suicide or homicide or suicidal thoughts,'' Mr. Preuss said.

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