PITTSBURGH – An Allegheny County jury returned a $2 million verdict on Wed., May 16 in favor of Stanley and Marianne Truskie as a result of the death of their son Mark who died at the age of 46. The Truskies were represented at trial by Geoff Brown and Tyler Smith of Bordas & Bordas.
“It was certainly an honor to represent Stanley and Marianne Truskie in their heroic effort to honor their son's memory by protecting the safety of others suffering from mental illness. We are pleased that we were able to help them fight for justice in this case,” said Brown.
After Mark’s death on November 12, 2013, the Allegheny County coroner determined that he died from toxic levels of Celexa and Clozaril, two medications used to treat his mental illness. Mark's psychiatrist, Dr. Grace Huang of the Staunton Clinic, prescribed both medications. The Truskie family was able to prove that Huang and the Staunton Clinic ignored two critically important FDA Safety Alerts regarding Celexa, a medication known to cause sudden cardiac death when prescribed above certain doses. As the evidence demonstrated, Huang and the Staunton Clinic prescribed Celexa to Mark at twice the allowable dose without ever informing the Truskie family of the FDA warnings or informing them about simple and safe tests that could be used to protect Mark from the increased risk of harm caused by his medications.
“This case sends a very important message – that doctors have to know the risks of medications and need to inform their patients of those risks,” said Smith after his closing argument and the jury’s verdict. “We hope this verdict will prevent other families from suffering a terrible loss like the Truskie family did.”
Mark is survived by his parents, his sister, Lynn, and his brothers, Brian and Craig.
The defendants, Dr. Huang and the Staunton Clinic, were represented by Steven Forry and Shannon Poliziani of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman and Goggin, P.C. The Honorable Philip A. Ignelzi, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge, presided over the eight-day trial.
Bordas & Bordas is a 22-lawyer regional plaintiff’s litigation law firm with offices in Pittsburgh, PA, Wheeling and Moundsville, WV and St. Clairsville, OH.