Antidepressants and the Suicide of Mary Richardson Kennedy

California personal injury lawyerDid antidepressants play a role in the suicide of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s estranged wife? It’s certainly within the realm of possibility, based on a newly-released Westchester County medical examiner’s report. The report found that Mary Richardson Kennedy had three separate antidepressants in her system at the time of her death: trazodone, venlafaxine, and desmethylvenlafaxine.

For those not entirely familiar with the story, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former president John F. Kennedy, married Mary Richardson in 1994 and filed for divorce in 2010. From the time of their separation, until her apparent suicide in May of this year, Richardson struggled to keep her life together. She was charged with drunk driving on two separate occasions, became embroiled in a contentious legal battle with her estranged husband, and is now found to have been taking multiple simultaneous antidepressants.

Richardson was found dead near her New York home on May 16, 2012, and her passing was ruled as the result of “asphyxiation from hanging” by the Westchester County medical examiner. That same medical examiner uncovered traces of the three antidepressants in her system. It is only speculation to consider the possibility that drugs played a role in Richard’s suicide, but one thing is for certain: Mixing multiple antidepressant drugs can have serious consequences.

Even taking a single antidepressant can have major side effects, including the potential for suicide risk. “More than one is an overkill.” Dr. G. Heath King, a Florida psychoanalyst, and former Yale professor told The Daily Beast. “In excess, some side effects are exaggerated. Even at standard doses, venlafaxine alone has been shown in at least three independent international studies to significantly increase the risk of suicide.”

Family members believe that Richardson was prescribed the drugs at different times, and may have been mixing them on her own, without a doctor’s supervision. She was diagnosed in 2006 with borderline personality disorder and struggled for years with depression. The FDA has warned of a potential risk of suicide in people who take antidepressants, particularly in the early weeks of treatment, or when dosages are suddenly changed.

Once again, it’s not entirely known whether the drugs played a role in Richardson’s suicide, but if you take antidepressants, you should be aware of the possible side effects. If someone you love has attempted or committed suicide after taking antidepressants, or if you have experienced other debilitating side effects as a result of taking these drugs, you may be entitled to compensation. But you’ll need a good personal injury attorney working for you.

Nadrich & Cohen, LLP has been handling personal injury cases for decades, and we have obtained more than $250 million on behalf of our clients. If you have a personal injury claim involving antidepressants, call us today at 1-800-718-4658 to discuss your case.

Do I Have A Case?

We offer free consultation. No office visit required, we will get back to you within 24 hours.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


What can we do for you?

  • Answer your legal question.
  • Provide a Free Case Evaluation.
  • Schedule an appointment.


Choose Us?

  • Available 24/7
  • Trusted Since 1990
  • Local to You
  • Recovered $350,000,000
  • 5 Star Reviews
  • Free Case Evaluation
  • VIP Service
  • No Win, No Fee

Latest Law Post

March 15, 2019

Expert Testifies Before House Subcommittee Regarding Talc Use And Ovarian Cancer Link

A United States House of Representatives subcommittee, on March 12th, 2019, looked into whether they should give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to more strictly regulate cosmetics, including talcum powder and products containing talc.

March 13, 2019

IVC Filters Used for Blood Clots Come With Risks, Complications


We are Personal Injury Lawyers representing accident victims throughout California.
For 30 years, the law firm of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP has helped injury victims
obtain the compensation they deserve.