Lawsuit Filed In Case Of Suicide After Paxil Use

  • Monday, November 28, 2005

A lawsuit has been filed in Circuit Court against the makers of Paxil in a case in which a 20-year-old took his own life after using the drug.

The suit is also brought against a psychiatrist and counselor who provided treatment for Ryan Robert Austin.

The suit was filed by Robert Austin, grandfather of the young man.

Defendants are Dr. Susan K. McGuire, Denise Triggs, Focus Psychiatric Services and GlaxoSmithKline.

The suit says Dr. McGuire began treating Ryan Robert Austin in February 2001 when he was 16 and after he had gone into Valley Psychiatric Hospital. It says he had behavioral problems, attention hyperactive disorder and other problems and had previously been on Paxil briefly.

It says he began seeing Dr. McGuire every three months.

The suit says he was living with his maternal grandparents, and the grandmother went to the Focus Psychatric offices in June 2004 to discuss his depression problems.

The complaint says the grandmother was given samples of Paxil but not instructed on its possible effects or on its proper dosage.

The suit, filed by attorney John McMahan, says Paxil can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior.

It says on July 18, 2004, that Ryan Robert Austin overdosed on multiple pain medications and was taken to Erlanger Medical Center, then to Valley Hospital.

The suit says on July 22, 2004, that Ms. Triggs was told about morbid and depressing poems the grandmother had found, including morbid scenes of his committing suicide.

On the early morning of Sept. 12, 2004, he shot himself in the head in the driveway of his home and died instantly. He was 20. A suicide note was found in his pocket.

The suit asks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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