ST. LOUIS — A psychiatrist and his firm were ordered to pay $5 million to the mother of a woman who died of a stroke in 2016.
The mother, Debbie Pyzyk, filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging Gateway Psychiatric Group LLC and Dr. Gordon Robinson of overprescribing her daughter for treatment of her ADHD. Her daughter, Kristin Pyzyk, died of a stroke at the age of 35.
According to the lawsuit, Robinson began treating Kristin Pyzyk in 2013 after she was admitted to a recovery center for alcohol dependence and Adderall abuse. The lawsuit said Robinson prescribed Kristin Pyzyk "excessive amounts" of Vyvanse, an amphetamine, despite her "overwhelming evidence of Kristin’s addiction and dependence.”
The lawsuit alleged Robinson did not reduce her prescription after she reported taking extra doses, and said he continued filling prescriptions during an 11-month stretch without examining her.
A doctor testifying for the plaintiff said Kristin Pyzyk's long-term use of the drug contributed to her stroke.
Robinson and Gateway denied the allegations in court filings. The defense said a post-mortem drug screen did not find drugs in the blood and no autopsy was performed. They also said the testimony that her use of Vyvanse caused her stroke was "unreliable".
After a week-long trial, nine of the 12 jurors sided with Pyzyk and ordered Gateway Psychiatric Group LLC and Robinson to pay $5 million in damages.