District Court Judge William Sanchez has made a ruling in a multi-million dollar wrongful death Paxil lawsuit. Judge Sanchez has ruled that the plaintiffs, Anthony and Cheng Silva, whose daughter committed suicide after taking Paxil, will get 2 percent in pre-judgment interest from a jury verdict that totaled $3 million last month.
Susan Silva killed herself in 2006 after taking the controversial antidepressant Paxil to treat her anxiety symptoms. Silva’s parents sued Lovelace Health System Inc. amid claims that they were negligent in prescribing the Paxil since they didn’t properly inform her of the side effects linked to the drug. Silva’s parents also claimed that Dr. Isabel Lopez-Colberg (who prescribed the Paxil to Silva) didn’t warn her that she was vulnerable to committing suicide when taking Paxil.
When Silva complained that the Paxil made her feel ill and uncomfortable, the doctor prescribed her generic version of Paxil instead. Judge Sanchez could have awarded the family as much as 10 percent interest, but opted for two instead. This means that the plaintiffs will receive about $46,000 a year for the next three years. Had they received the full 10 percent they would have gotten $230,000 a year.
One of the plaintiff’s attorneys has stated that Lovelace should be forced to pay out all of the interest because the healthcare company didn’t want to offer a fair settlement in the first place (Lovelace originally offered the plaintiff $100,000).
“We could still argue that 10 percent is appropriate in this case,” the attorney said. “There is a reason the Legislature says you can go up to 10 percent. That is to foster settlement. That is what exactly didn’t happen in this case.”
Thousands of Paxil lawsuits have been on behalf of patients that have committed suicide. Suicidal thoughts and behavior is one of the adverse side effects of taking the drug. Most of the lawsuits allege that the makers of Paxil didn’t properly warn patients of the dangers linked to the medication.