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By Mike Gellatly, Rome News-Tribune staff writer
One day after his antidepressant medication was doubled, a Whitfield County man threw himself in front of a moving train, killing him.
Now, his widow is suing the drug manufacturer claiming the medication, Paxil, was to blame, and she is looking to be compensated the “full value” of her husband’s life and for the drug to carry severe warnings.
The widow, Donna Dietz, is suing the Smithkline Beecham Corporation, the makers of the drug she contends led to the death of her 33-year-old husband, and has enlisted the help of a Houston-based firm that specializes in these cases.
At the time of his death in 2002, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Rome, Garrison David Dietz had been prescribed the drug Paroxetine, branded as Paxil, by his doctor.
In the lawsuit, Dietz, who now lives in Gordon County, states a judgment of more than $75,000 is the goal of the suit.
Attorney Andy Vickery, who represents Dietz, said the amount would be a great deal more, saying a similar four-party suit in Wyoming in 2001 earned his clients $8 million in compensation.
One week after beginning the medication, the doctor doubled the dosage; one day later, April 10, 2002, Dietz’s husband committed suicide, the suit says.
The suit describes Paxil as a “defective and unreasonably dangerous product.”
Vickery said his goal is to strictly limit the prescription of this and similar drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), to that of psychiatrists.
Attorney’s for Smithkline Beecham could not be reached for comment Tuesday