Plaintiff Win in Generic Drug Lawsuit Brings Question of Generic Drug Side-Effects Liability to the Fore


Time Will Tell If Drug Manufacturers Can Be Held Liable for Generic Drug Side-Effects After Jury Finds for Plaintiff In GlaxoSmithKline Generic Drug Lawsuit

Generic-Drugs-Side-Effects-Wright-Schulte-LLCOn April 20th, an Illinois federal jury ordered GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3 Million to the widow of an attorney who committed suicide while taking a generic version of the antidepressant, Paxil. Glaxo has promised to appeal the decision, which would likely bring the concept of “innovator liability” before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 12-cv-6403)

“Currently, individuals who were harmed by a generic drug are barred from bringing state failure-to-warn claims against generic manufacturers. If Glaxo’s promised appeal is decided for the plaintiff, countless individuals who were allegedly harmed by generic drug side effects would finally have an avenue by which to pursue justice,” said Richard W. Schulte, a partner with the Wright & Schulte LLC, an experienced law firm fighting to protect the rights of those injured by name-brand and generic medications.

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Pliva vs. Mensing that generic drug injury lawsuits based on state failure-to-warn claims were pre-empted because federal law requires that generic medications carry labels identical to their name brand counterparts. Since then numerous lower courts have dismissed failure-to-warn claims brought against generic manufacturers.
[, Reuters]

According to court documents, Wendy Dolin filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline and Mylan after her husband committed suicide by jumping in front of an oncoming commuter train. Generic manufacturer Mylan was ultimately dismissed from the suit due to Pliva vs. Mensing. But the Court allowed Mrs. Dolin to proceed against Glaxo because, as the name brand manufacturer of Paxil, the company controlled the generic drug’s design and label. Glaxo appealed that ruling to the 7th Circuit in 2014. However, the appeals court found that it would be premature to rule on a “debatable legal issue” prior to final judgment.

Courts in Alabama, California and Vermont have upheld the concept of innovator liability in generic drug lawsuits. However, numerous other courts have issued contradictory decisions.

“If Glaxo does appeal this decision, the question of innovator liability could finally be settled once and for all. We will be watching this matter closely, as a decision in favor of Mrs. Dolin would reverse a terrible injustice inflicted on the victims of generic drug side effects,” Mr. Schulte said.

Wright & Schulte LLC is an experienced personal injury firm, is dedicated to the belief that America’s legal system should work for the people. Every day, the attorneys of Wright Schulte LLC stand up for the rights of people who have been injured or wronged, and fight tirelessly to ensure that even the world’s most powerful corporations take responsibility for their actions. If you’re looking for a law firm that will guarantee the aggressive and personal representation you deserve, do not hesitate to contact Wright & Schulte LLC today. Free legal evaluations are available through, or call 1-888-399-0795.

Wright & Schulte LLC
865 S. Dixie Dr.
Vandalia, Ohio 45377


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