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Hartman’s Estate Sues Zoloft Makers

May 28, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The executor of Phil Hartman’s estate is suing the makers of the antidepressant Zoloft and Brynn Hartman’s psychiatrist, claiming Mrs. Hartman suffered side effects from the drug that caused her to shoot the comedian and then kill herself.

Gregory Omdahl, Mrs. Hartman’s brother and the executor of the couple’s estate, contends his sister’s psychiatrist prescribed Zoloft to her without properly diagnosing her condition.

``Zoloft is an antidepressant that in some people causes violent and suicidal side effects,″ said Karen Barth, attorney for Omdahl.

Tests conducted after Mrs. Hartman’s death showed she had Zoloft, alcohol and cocaine in her system at the time of the shootings.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed Wednesday, names as defendants New York-based Pfizer Inc. and Los Angeles psychiatrist Arthur Sorosky.

Hartman, 49, star of the television sitcom ``NewsRadio,″ was shot to death May 28, 1998, by his wife in the couple’s Encino home. Mrs. Hartman, 40, then killed herself.

A spokesperson for Pfizer could not be reached after business hours Thursday. Sorosky declined comment.