St. Louis County psychiatrist to pay $5 million in fatal overmedication lawsuit

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Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 4:16 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - On Friday, a jury ruled that Gateway Psychiatric Group and Dr. Gordon Robinson will have to pay $5 million to a woman who said her daughter’s death was due to being over-prescribed Vyvanse, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorder.

After a week-long trial, a jury decided Gateway and Robinson had to pay damages after Kristin Pyzyk died in March 2016 after suffering a stroke.

Debbie Pyzyk, Kristin Pyzyk’s mother, filed the lawsuit in 2019 alleging that Robinson contributed to her daughter’s death by over-prescribing amphetamines despite evidence that Kristin Pyzyk was dealing with addiction and dependence. According to court documents, a doctor testifying for the Pyzyks said that the long-term use of Vyvanse contributed to her stroke.

According to the lawsuit, Robinson started treating Kristin Pyzyk in 2013 after she was admitted to a recovery center for alcohol dependence and Adderall abuse. The lawsuit alleges that Robinson, over three years, prescribed Kristin Pyzyk “excessive amounts” of Vyvanse despite her history of amphetamine abuse. It is also alleged that Robinson never reduced her prescription or provide alternative treatments after she reported to him she had been taking extra doses.

According to court documents, Robinson and Gateway said they were not responsible for her death and that her stroke couldn’t be linked to her medication. They said a post-mortem drug screening didn’t show any drugs in her blood, and she did not have an autopsy performed.