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Heygood, Orr & Pearson: Court of Appeals Affirms $16.56 Million Judgment in Defective Fentanyl Patch Case
Date:7/7/2011

CHICAGO, July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 30, 2011, just three weeks after hearing oral argument, the First District of the Illinois Court of Appeals affirmed a $16.56 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) subsidiaries Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. and ALZA Corporation in a wrongful death case involving their Duragesic® fentanyl pain patch.

The court's opinion completely affirmed the November 2008 judgment in DiCosolo v. ALZA Corp, et al., obtained for the family of Janice DiCosolo by attorneys James Orr, Michael Heygood and Charles Miller of the Dallas-based law firm Heygood, Orr & Pearson, and Chicago attorney John Cushing.

Mrs. DiCosolo's death on February 15, 2004, occurred while she was using a Duragesic® fentanyl patch that her doctor prescribed to reduce the pain she experienced as a result of a neurological condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Duragesic® is a patch containing a gel form of the powerful pain medication fentanyl.

During the course of the trial, Mrs. DiCosolo's family argued that the defendants were aware of a long history of manufacturing defects related to the Duragesic® fentanyl patch that allowed the patch to leak fentanyl onto a patient's skin, potentially leading to extreme hypoventilation and death. As attorney James Orr explained, "The Defendants knew their fentanyl patch was unreasonably dangerous and defective because it could leak fentanyl gel but continued to sell the product rather than change its design or their manufacturing processes."

Janssen and ALZA ultimately recalled millions of Duragesic® fentanyl patches,
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SOURCE Heygood, Orr & Pearson
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