O'Fallon, IL asked in Wrongful Death for Illinois

Q: My dad was taking Zoloft and committed suicide recently. I wanted to know if i can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

He had recently increased his dosage.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: I don't mean to be flippant but there is a vast difference between whether you can file a suit and whether the suit is winnable. The makers of Zoloft readily acknowledge that there is an increased risk of suicide, especially in individuals under 24 years of age and especially in the period just after treatment has begun or after the dosage has been changed. Your father's doctor took this information into consideration when the drug was prescribed. You note that your father's dosage had recently changed but the fact that you are writing in this forum makes it highly unlikely that your father was 24 years of age or younger. There is no clinical data that supports any increased risk of suicide in adults over the age of 24 years and the medication received FDA approval 24 years ago in December 1999. For all of these reasons, it is all but certain that you would lose such a suit. Given the high likelihood that you would lose, no attorney would be willing to represent you on a contingency basis. If you paid for such a suit, on an hourly basis, it would cost you well in excess of $50,000 to prepare the matter for trial.

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