In June of 2010, a Mississippi woman’s doctor wrote her a prescription for four 25 mcg fentanyl patches. She had the prescription filled the next day at her local CVS Pharmacy. However, rather than filling the prescription with the 25 mcg fentanyl patches that were prescribed, CVS filled the prescription with four 75 mcg Sandoz patches—three times the dose that the doctor had intended to prescribe.
She died later that very same day of a fentanyl overdose. A 75 mcg Sandoz fentanyl patch was found on her body. She had not abused the patches or somehow used them inappropriately. She was simply wearing a patch per the instructions of her doctor, her pharmacist and the drug company. An autopsy was performed on the same day as her death. The cause of death listed on the medical examiner’s autopsy report is fentanyl toxicity.
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 certain 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. The Food and Drug Administration has issued several fentanyl warnings after it was found that the gel inside the pain patch could leak, posing a risk of overdose and death.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the woman’s estate and wrongful death beneficiaries, including her minor children. The fentanyl lawsuit alleges that the Sandoz patch was defective and delivered a fatal dose of the pain patch. The lawsuit also alleges that CVS and the doctor were negligent and that such negligence resulted in the woman wearing a fentanyl patch with three times the dose that the doctor had intended to prescribe.
Fentanyl Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson
If you or a loved one has experienced the tragedy of losing a family member as a result of a fentanyl pain patch usage, contact us to discuss your legal rights. You can reach us by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing our free online case evaluation form.
Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.