GlaxoSmithKline LLC can’t be held liable under Illinois law for the death of a Chicago corporate lawyer who committed suicide after taking a generic version of its anti-depressant drug Paxil, an appeals court held.

The Aug. 22 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reverses a $3 million jury award to the attorney’s widow.

A controversial key question in the case has played out in courts across the country recently: Whether brand-name drugmakers can be held liable for harm to patients who took generic equivalents.

That’s “still in a significant state of flux,” Mary J. Davis,...