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Pop Singer’s Widow Sues Drug Company Over Suicide

January 29, 1991

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The widow of 1960s pop singer Del Shannon filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly & Co. Inc., claiming an antidepressant drug made by the pharmaceutical giant led to her husband’s suicide last year.

LeAnne Westover alleges that Prozac can cause suicidal and violent behavior. She contends that the Indianapolis-based firm failed to warn the public and the medical community of the danger.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, seeks unspecified damages.

Shannon, born Charles Westover, had hits including ″Runaway″ and ″Keep Searchin’.″ He fatally shot himself Feb. 8, 1990, at age 55. He had been taking Prozac, prescribed by a psychiatrist, for two weeks before his death. Edward West, a spokesman for Eli Lilly, said Monday the company does not comment on lawsuits. But he said Prozac’s ″safety and effectiveness in the treatment of depression has been well established.″

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