More MS news articles for May 1999

Hartman's Estate Sues Drug Co., Doc

May 28, 1999

The executor of Phil Hartman's estate - his brother-in- law Gregory Omdahl - has made good on a threat to sue both the producers of the antidepressant Zoloft and his sister Brynn's psychiatrist.

According to the Associated Press, Omdahl contends that Los Angeles psychiatrist Arthur Sorosky gave Zoloft to Brynn without properly diagnosing her condition. He also alleges that side effects from the Pfizer-distributed drug caused his sister to shoot her husband and then take her own life.

"Zoloft in some people causes violent and suicidal side effects," says Omdahl's attorney Karen Barth.

In February, another attorney for the extended Hartman family told ABC's 20/20 that while Zoloft, alcohol, and cocaine were found in Brynn's system, Zoloft was the only unknown factor.

"She was taking cocaine before," said Andrew Vicary. "She had taken alcohol before. She had never done this kind of thing [getting violent] before. So what was different in this case?"

Wednesday, Omdahl filed a wrongful death suit against the two parties, neither of which commented.

Hartman, then 49, a Saturday Night Live alum and star of the NBC sitcom NewsRadio, was shot to death a year ago today by 40-year-old Brynn. She then turned the gun on herself.