The Duragesic death saga continues. On November 17, 2008, my law firm, Heygood, Orr, Reyes, Pearson & Bartolomei, achieved a $16,560,000 verdict for the family of a Cicero, Illinois woman who died while wearing a Duragesic fentanyl transdermal pain patch. After a 3 week trial, a Chicago jury found two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries liable for the death of 38-year-old Janice DiCosolo, a mother of three.
Duragesic is a patch containing a gel form of the opioid drug fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than morphine. On February 15, 2004, Mrs. DiCosolo died as a result of using a defective Duragesic patch that her doctor had prescribed to alleviate the intense pain she experienced from a neurological condition called "reflex sympathetic dystrophy." The patch was part of a lot of patches that ALZA recalled in 2004 due to seal breaches that allowed leakage that could cause an increased, life-threatening absorption of the drug. That same year, an FDA investigator found deficiencies in ALZA's manufacturing practices and quality control assurance policies and procedures.
My firm’s Partners, Jim Orr and Michael Heygood, were the lead attorneys representing the DiCosolo family in the case against the defendants, Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. and ALZA Corporation. Orr and Heygood were assisted in the case by HORP&B Partner Charles Miller.
According to Jim, “They knew this patch was dangerous and defective but they continued to sell it and make money, and that's the only reason Janice DiCosolo is dead." Michael added, "They even knew there was a safer design, one that would prevent the fentanyl from leaking, but they chose not to use it."
This is the second Duragesic case where HORP&B has prevailed on behalf of a client who lost a loved one due to a defective fentanyl patch. Last year, a federal court jury in Florida awarded $5.5 million to the father of 28-year-old Adam Hendelson, who died while using a Duragesic patch that was prescribed for hip pain.
If you or someone you know has suffered injury or died as a result of wearing a Duragesic patch, or other fentanyl pain patch, please email me at Angel@ReyesLaw.com.
©2008 Angel Reyes