Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Duragesic: Justice in Chicago

My good friends at Heygood, Orr, Reyes, Pearson & Bartolomei received long due justice in a case involving a Duragesic pain patch for a client after a long trial in Chicago.

The story: Janice DiCosolo, 38, of Cicero died on Feb. 15, 2004, while using a Duragesic patch that her doctor prescribed to reduce pain caused by a neurological condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

The mother of three died because the patch delivered a fatal dose of its main ingredient, the powerful narcotic pain reliever fentanyl, according to her family's lawyers.

The jury was told that fentanyl is a painkiller 100 times more powerful than morphine. The patches, prescribed for people combating chronic pain, are to be worn for 72 hours and then discarded. Janice DiCosolo was found wearing one when she died.

At least one lot of Duragesic patches in February 2004 was recalled, a day after DiCosolo died, because of improper sealing of the adhesive backing of the devices, defense lawyer David Sudzus wrote in a court filing. The patch worn by DiCosolo was from that lot, he said.

The jury forewoman, Peggy Rounsfull, 51, of Glenview, said, it was the fentanyl that appeared to have killed DiCosolo.

``There was no way of getting around the fact that she had too much fentanyl,'' Rounsfull said. (Link here)

The Johnson & Johnson units that make and sell the Duragesic pain-killing patch must now pay $16.6 million to the family of a Chicago-area woman.