Donald Schell vs. SmithKline Beecham

Donald Schell vs. SmithKline Beecham

Judge Denies Rehearing in Drug Case

Associated Press

A federal judge denied a request by the maker of Paxil for a new trial in the case of a man who killed himself and three family members after taking the anti-depressant drug.
Donald Schell vs. SmithKline Beecham

8/11/2001

Judge Denies Rehearing in Drug Case

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Associated Press

GlaxoSmithKline asked that they be granted a new trial in the case of the murder/suicide where the family was awarded $8 million for the deaths of four members of the Donald Schell family and the Tim Tobin family. They tried to say that Dr. David Healy who testified as an expert for the Schell and Tobin families contradicted himself in the trial. (Wow! I wonder if he looked at someone cross-eyed too?! Talk about grasping for straws!)

On Thursday Federal Judge William Beaman turned down their request stating that “the verdict was supported by reliable scientific data and that jury instructions were proper.”

Obviously GlaxoSmithKline has not been as successful at buying the verdict they desired as Lilly was in the Wesbecker murder/suicide case in Kentucky. But they assure us that they will not give up as yet. They will now head for Denver to see what they can accomplish there.

You see, as long as they can put up a strong front, they can postpone the inevitable landslide of future lawsuits against their “golden goose.” The stalling pays off in another way as well with every day bringing in another $7 million or so in profits on Paxil. It all comes back to $$$$$. Clearly loss of human life is not what matters to GlaxoSmithKline or Lilly, or Pfizer, or Solvay, etc., etc., etc.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive DirectorInternational Coalition For Drug AwarenessAuthor of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare July 2001 Edition – (1-)

A federal judge denied a request by the maker of Paxil for a new trial in the case of a man who killed himself and three family members after taking the anti-depressant drug.

In June, a jury determined that taking Paxil prompted Donald Schell to kill his wife, daughter, granddaughter and himself in 1998. It awarded $8 million in damages to Schell’s relatives.

Jurors returned the verdict in a civil wrongful death suit against SmithKline Beecham, the manufacturer of Paxil, the country’s second-largest selling anti-depressant. The company is now called GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Attorneys for the company had asked U.S. Magistrate Judge William C. Beaman to overturn the jury award or allow a retrial.

The company must pay $6.4 million of the $8 million total, because the jury ruled that it was 80 percent responsible for the deaths, while Schell was 20 percent liable.

The company’s request was based in part on what it called the unreliability of the plaintiffs’ expert witness, Dr. David Healy, saying his testimony contradicted what he wrote in professional articles.

Beaman turned down the request Thursday, saying the verdict was supported by reliable scientific data and that jury instructions were proper.

GlaxoSmithKline will appeal to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court in Denver, attorney Tom Gorman said.

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