Attorney’s Widow Loses Bid for Redo of Ruling for GSK


The widow of an attorney who committed suicide while taking a generic version ofGlaxoSmithKline LLC’ s antidepressant Paxil lost her attempt to have a federal appeals court revisit a decision tossing a $3 million jury verdict against the drugmaker.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Sept. 20 denied Wendy Dolin’s request for a rehearing by the three judge-panel and for reconsideration by the full court.

Dolin’s husband, Stewart Dolin, was a partner at Reed Smith in Chicago when he died in 2010.

Wendy Dolin won a $3 million verdict in 2017. She alleged GSK should be held liable for failing to warn that Paxil could lead to suicide deaths in older users. At the time of Dolin’s death, the drugmaker only warned of such risks for children.

But the appeals court said federal drug labeling law blocked Dolin’s claims.

GSK, which controlled the labeling for Paxil and generic versions, couldn’t have changed the label without running afoul of federal law, the appeals court said.

The regulatory history for Paxil shows “clear evidence” the Food and Drug Administration would not have permitted a labeling change, the standard for preemption, the court said.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a drug preemption case on its docket this term involving the bone-building drug Fosamax.

At issue is whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit correctly rejected Merck & Co.’s arguments that federal law bars claims by women alleging it didn’t adequately warn about thigh-bone fractures.

Rapoport Law Offices and Baum, Hedlund, Arustei & Goldman PC represented Dolin. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Dentons US LLP, and King & Spalding LLP represented GSK.

The case is Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline, LLC, 7th Cir. App., No. 17-3030, 9/20/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Steinberg in Washington at jsteinberg@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com