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Mother of teen-age suicide pilot files suit against drug company

The wreckage of the Cessna that crashed into a Tampa skyscraper last January.  

TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- The mother of a teen-age boy who flew a Cessna aircraft into a Tampa office building filed a $70 million wrongful death and negligence lawsuit Tuesday against the manufacturers of a drug the boy took to treat acne.

Attorneys for Julia Bishop charge that Accutane, manufactured by Roche/Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., had severe psychiatric side effects on 15-year-old Charles Bishop. Bishop flew a single-engine plane into the 42-story Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Tampa on January 5, killing himself instantly. No one else was injured.

The boy had a prescription for Accutane, but investigators did not believe he had any of the drug in his system at the time of the crash.

Representatives from the pharmaceutical giant did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

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Accutane has come under scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration largely due to its links to birth defects.

The prescription can be given only in one-month intervals, and someone under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign a consent form after reading lengthy explanations about potential side effects.

Julia Bishop's lawsuit contends that Accutane is an unsafe drug and that Roche/Hoffmann-La Roche failed to adequately warn the public of a potential link to depression and suicide.

After the crash, police found a note in Charles' pocket expressing support for Osama bin Laden and the September 11 attacks, an opinion that family and friends said he had not expressed previously.




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