by Michael Heygood

Representing the mother and the estate of a woman who tragically died while wearing a fentanyl pain patch, Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed another wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against Watson Pharma, Inc., Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and subsidiary Watson corporate entities.

Fentanyl is an extremely dangerous drug that is at least 80 times stronger than morphine.  Fentanyl patches are designed to release only a certain, limited amount of fentanyl into a patient at a predetermined rate, and thus produce a certain level of fentanyl in the blood of the patient. If a patch functions as intended, the patient should not receive a harmful dose of fentanyl.  However, manufacturers of time-release fentanyl patches have come under scrutiny for defective products.  If for any reason an excessive amount of fentanyl leaks and becomes absorbed by patients, the result can be life-threatening side effects and even death.

Watson has reported problems with leaking patches and has even had to recall some due to leaks.  You can access a Watson press release about its leaking fentanyl patches here:


The recently-filed lawsuit alleges that:

–Our client was prescribed Watson (fentanyl transdermal system) patches and was using one of these patches at the time of her death as prescribed;

–The patch was made utilizing a reservoir design which means that the fentanyl gel is inserted into a reservoir between two of the patch’s layers;

–The patch is unsafe for its intended or reasonably foreseeable use because it can

and does leak and/or because it otherwise causes lethal levels of fentanyl in patients;

–Another design for Fentanyl patches existed at the time that the Watson Patch was manufactured called the “matrix” design.  Watson could have made fentanyl patches of a matrix design, as opposed to a reservoir design. The matrix technology cannot leak Fentanyl and can still incorporate a rate control membrane or layer;

–Our client had a fatal fentanyl concentration in her blood at the time of her death;

–The medical examiner determined that fentanyl intoxication was the cause of our client’s death; and

–The defective condition of the Watson fentanyl patch was a cause of our client’s death.

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.  These settlements have undoubtedly been a result of the fact that lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have obtained a $16,500,000 verdict for one family who lost a loved one as a result of a defective Fentanyl patch and a $5,500,000 verdict for another family.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson work to achieve the highest compensation possible for families who have lost a loved one due to a defective 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.

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.