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Del Shannon's Widow Sues Maker of Prozac

January 29, 1991

The widow of singer Del Shannon has sued Eli Lilly & Co., claiming an antidepressant drug made by the pharmaceutical giant led to her husband's suicide last year in his Santa Clarita home.

The Superior Court suit filed by LeAnne Westover seeks unspecified punitive damages and contends that the Indianapolis-based firm failed to warn the public and medical community about possible side effects of the drug Prozac. The drug can cause suicidal and violent behavior, said Westover's attorney, Leonard L. Finz.

Shannon, born Charles Westover, shot himself Feb. 8, 1990, with a .22-caliber rifle. He had been taking Prozac, prescribed by a psychiatrist, for two weeks. The singer-songwriter, whose 1960s hits included "Runaway" and "Keep Searchin'," was 55.

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