$16 MILLION DOLLAR VERDICT IN PAIN KILLER SKIN PATCH CASE
A Cook County jury recently awarded $16.5 million dollars to the family of a Cicero woman who died of a drug overdose while using a pain-killer skin patch. Janice DiCoslo was using a prescribed Duragesic patch when she died on February 15, 2004. In a normal patch, a gel containing fentanyl is released into the body slowly through a layer of film. Some of the patches were defective however, and the layer of film didn’t completely cover the gel. As a result, the gel would leak out. Users of defective patches were vulnerable to overdoses of fentanyal, which can cause complications ranging from drowsiness to death.
The very day that DiCosolo’s husband reported his wife’s death, a recall of the defective patches was announced. The patch DiCosolo was wearing at the time of her death came from the recalled batch. Jurors reportedly found that the manufacturers of the patch, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc and ALZA Corporation were aware of the problems with the patch. the defendants have vowed to appeal the award.