Philanthropist's death sparks unusual lawsuit

When former model and philanthropist Phyllis Harvey died last year at 59, little note was taken. There was no mention of how she died — nothing about her struggle with alcoholism and mental illness. And there was no reference to one of the final projects she helped fund with nearly a half million dollars.

Those details now figure prominently in a medical board complaint and wrongful death lawsuit claiming her psychiatrist coaxed $490,000 in research funding from her while she was under powerful doses of psychotropic drugs that eventually killed her.

The suit filed on behalf of Brian Harvey accuses a University of California, Los Angeles psychiatrist of causing his wife's death with dangerous drugs while soliciting research funds from her.

UCLA has said it will contest the lawsuit.

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