Daily reports from the trial on the Fiddaman blog.
An amended complaint filed by Wendy Dolin, the wife of late Reed Smith partner Stewart Dolin, last week brings new allegations to the fore that GSK intentionally did not warn consumers of Paxil that the antidepressant could increase suicidal thoughts and behavior — at least according to GSK's motion Thursday to do away with the claims.
GSK said that it is unprepared to defend against accusations of willful and wanton conduct at a trial set to begin March 14 and that Wendy Dolin's attorneys should not be allowed to press the claims.
“Specifically, GSK has had no opportunity to investigate or tailor its defense to these late claims which plaintiff filed, without any explanation for the undue delay; nearly five years after this case commenced; almost two years after the close of discovery; and after the court considered and ruled on multiple dispositive motions and motions in limine,” the company argued.
Dolin's attorney R. Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman PC told Law360 on Friday that it was untrue that GSK is not prepared to defend against the accusations. He said the latest complaint was a standard pretrial effort, approved of by the judge, to “clean up” the complaint by clarifying allegations that had already been submitted to the court.
He added that Illinois law allows plaintiffs to allege two kinds of negligence, both standard failure to fulfill a duty and willful and wanton conduct. If the court finds that GSK intentionally hid negative side effects from Stewart Dolin and other Paxil patients, then the company cannot mitigate damages by alleging that the late Dolin contributed to his own death.
The Tobin verdict referenced by Plaintiff’s filing concerns a trial that is wholly immaterial to this lawsuit for a number of reasons, including that the case (1) concerned labeling and warnings in February 1998 which are markedly different than those provided to the prescribing physician in this case.
(2) was decided under Wyoming law, not the law of Illinois;
(3) occurred before a host of analyses by a number of different researchers which havesuperseded the analyses discussed at that trial; and
(4) occurred before a number of scientific analyses showed no association between the use of paroxetine and suicidal thoughts or behavior in adult patients in Stewart Dolin’s age category. Finally, the Tobin case involved multiple homicides as well as a suicide so it is factually distinguishable from the case before this Court.