Posted: February 13, 2013

A jury in Syracuse awarded $1.5 million in the case of a teacher and beloved coach at an upstate New York high school who killed himself while under the effects of antidepressants. The state Supreme Court jury found that Joe Mazella had been overmedicated and that negligent medical treatment contributed to his suicide in 2009. The Syracuse Post-Standard quoted his wife, Janice Mazella, as saying: “ … He felt like his head was on fire,. There was something going on in his head and he just couldn’t figure it out. He said, ‘I wish I could just open my head up and hose it off and close it back up again. Then I’d feel OK.’” According to the newspaper, a doctor had been filling Mazella’s prescription for the antidepressant Paxil over the phone but hadn’t actually seen his patient for 10 years. The doctor was charged by the state health department for practicing with negligence and he was placed on probation for three years. He was also reportedly disciplined last September for abusing drugs and alcohol himself. Get more on medical malpractice lawsuits.