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E-mails in Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuit Ruled Discoverable

Judge Nancy Gertner of the United States District Court of Massachusetts ruled for the Plaintiffs, finding that e-mails about birth defects between GlaxoSmithKline (the Paxil manufacturer) and researchers. The plaintiffs believe that these e-mails will show that GlaxoSmithKline attempted to influence the results, and in fact recommended changes that were made to the final paper. Though the researchers have denied being influenced by GlaxoSmithKline, plaintiffs will probe the relationship and, perhaps, place it before a jury to decide.
The plaintiffs contend that William Seale’s mother took the antidepressant Paxil while she was pregnant, and that the drug caused the one-year-old to die of heart defects.

There are approximately 600 Paxil cases pending. The first suit is being tried now in Philadelphia state court, where opening statements have just begun.