Federal Courts Consolidate 22 Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Fentanyl Patch Manufacturer

by Eric Pearson

Twenty-two pending lawsuits that involve injuries arising from the use of allegedly defective Watson fentanyl patches have been centralized in single proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The 22 suits had previously been pending in 15 different federal courts throughout the country.

The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation determined the 22 actions against Watson involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in a single court will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. The panel found:

All actions [against Watson] are wrongful death or survivor actions sharing factual questions concerning alleged defects in the design, manufacture and marketing of the Watson fentanyl patch. Specifically, plaintiffs contend that the reservoir design of the Watson patch is defective and prone to leakage and that the Watson fentanyl patch the decedent was wearing at the time of his or her death malfunctioned and delivered too much fentanyl, resulting in a lethal overdose.

Watson sought centralization of all fentanyl patch litigation, not just the actions against Watson. The manufacturers of non-Watson fentanyl patches, ALZA and Mylan, opposed centralization of their actions alongside actions brought against Watson.

The panel denied Watson’s request to centralize all actions involving fentanyl patches irrespective of manufacturer “because there are insufficient commonalities among the allegations made against the different defendants.”

The consolidated proceeding is styled MDL No. 2372 — In re: Watson Fentanyl Patch Products Liability Litigation.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson is the leading law firm in the United States representing family members in lawsuits against the makers and distributors of defective Fentanyl pain patches. For example, the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have settled more cases against the manufacturers of defective patches throughout the United States than all other lawyers across the country combined.

In the very first jury trial by the lawyers of Heygood, Orr & Pearson against makers of a Fentanyl transdermal pain patch, a Florida jury awarded a $5.5 million verdict to the family of a man who died while wearing a fentanyl pain patch. More recently, Heygood, Orr & Pearson obtained a $16.5 million verdict for the family of a Cicero, Illinois woman who died while wearing a fentanyl patch.

On behalf of families across the United States, Heygood, Orr & Pearson is actively pursuing cases and lawsuits against the manufacturers of Fentanyl patches such as Duragesic, Sandoz and Watson. Our firm also handles cases against doctors who negligently prescribe fentanyl patches and other opioids, including oxycodone, OxyContin, and methadone.

If you have lost a loved one, due to a defective fentanyl patch, or as a result of the negligent prescribing of fentanyl patches or other opioids, please contact our firm for a free consultation so we can help you determine the best way to protect your legal rights and interests. You can reach us by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form.