A Los Lunas jury has issued a verdict in favor of the family of a woman who committed suicide while taking Paxil. The woman’s family was awarded more than $3 million.
Susan Antoinette Silva was 30 years old when she committed suicide in 2006 by slashing herself with a razor blade while she was taking the controversial antidepressant Paxil. Her family has since filed a medical malpractice lawsuit as a result of her death. The family says that Silva had started behaving bizarrely after she started taking a Paxil before moving onto the generic version of the drug.
Silva’s family stated that the woman was prescribed the drug in 2004 by her doctor, Isabel Lopez-Colberg, who at the time was working at Lovelace Health Systems. At the time, Silva was given the Paxil to treat anxiety. Silva’s estate lawyer has said that the doctor prescribed the woman “a year’s worth of pills, (and) never referred her to a specialist and failed to monitor her.”
The attorney also stated that “this girl carved deep gashes in her leg. She was calling in sick to work once every week. Even (the defense) expert said she was going psychotic for several months prior to her death.”
A spokeswoman for Lovelace Health Systems has released a statement that said that an appeal is currently being considered. Before developing her condition and subsequent being placed on the medication, Silva worked at the University of New Mexico as a mental health technician. The lawsuit complaint stated that she started to experience symptoms of restless leg syndrome while taking Paxil, which is what caused her to switch to the generic version of it. The generic version made her feel sick and generally uncomfortable and her family claims that they noticed her acting erratic while on the medication.
Silva’s behavior continued to remain “odd” and on April 13, she mutilated herself with the razor blades until she died. In the end, jurors awarded a total of $3.02 million to Silva’s estate, with $100,000 given to each of her parents and another $20,000 given to each of her siblings. As for liability, the jury gave 75 percent of the blame to the doctor and the facility at which she worked and 25 percent of the blame went to Silva.