HO&P PURSUING ALZA CORPORATION IN FENTANYL PATCH CASE

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by Eric Pearson

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful narcotic that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.  Fentanyl patches are intended for persistent, moderate to severe chronic pain and are a multi-layer system containing a gel which has the drug fentanyl in it.  The patch is applied by the patient and delivers fentanyl though the patient’s skin.  The patch is designed, manufactured, marketed, sold and distributed with the intention that it will release a certain amount of fentanyl into a patient at a certain rate, and thus produce a certain level of fentanyl in the blood of the patient.In other words, if a patch functions as intended and it is properly used by the patient, the patient should not receive a harmful dose of fentanyl.   Unfortunately, fentanyl patches have killed thousands of patients by causing fatal respiratory depression due to a patch malfunction that causes the patch to dispense too much fentanyl.

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 connection with the hundreds of Fentanyl pain patch cases that have been litigated by Heygood, Orr & Pearson on behalf of their clients, we have examined under oath hundreds of drug company executives, scientists, engineers, physicians and manufacturing workers.  We have also retained the best expert witnesses in the country in the areas of toxicology, pathology, pharmaceutical manufacturing and patch technology.  In addition, Heygood, Orr & Pearson has obtained millions of pages of documents from the drug companies related to Fentanyl patches, which have been reviewed, analyzed and catalogued.  In doing so, our firm has amassed by far the most extensive library and collection of documents and depositions related to Fentanyl patches in existence.

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 Duragesic Fentanyl pain patch.  More recently, Heygood, Orr & Pearson obtained a $16 millions verdict for the family of a Cicero, Illinois woman who died while wearing a Duragesic Fentanyl transdermal pain patch.

Now, our firm has filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin state court on behalf of the estate and surviving beneficiaries of a man who died of fentanyl toxicity while wearing a fentanyl patch.  The suit alleges the fentanyl patch designed and manufactured by ALZA Corporation and marketed, sold, supplied, and/or distributed by Sandoz Inc. was defectively designed and manufactured.  In this case, the deceased had been given a prescription for 75 mcg Sandoz (fentanyl transdermal system) patches.  The patch in this case 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 lawsuit alleges that prior to and at the time of the manufacture of the patch in question, the defendant companies knew that they were producing defective patches that leaked, that would produce levels of fentanyl in patients above the intended and designed level, and that were killing patients.  The lawsuit further alleges that despite having such knowledge, the defendant companies, with reckless disregard for the safety of patients, continued to manufacture fentanyl patches because of the massive revenue being generated by their sale.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson work to achieve the highest compensation possible for families who 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.

If you have lost a loved one due to fentanyl overdose, please contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free case evaluation.