Defective Patch Manufacturer Told to Pay $16.6 Million to Victim’s Family

Two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries –one of them New Jersey-based — that manufacture and distribute a painkilling skin patch have been ordered to pay about $16.6 million to the family of 38-year-old Janice DiCosolo, who died from a drug overdose while using the product. According to this Associated Press news report, DiCosolo, a mother of three, died because the patch delivered a fatal dose of its main ingredient, which is a powerful narcotic pain reliever called fentanyl. A jury arrived at this wrongful death verdict following a three-week trial.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by DiCosolo’s family claimed that the two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries knew about the Duragesic patch that leaked fentanyl in doses large enough to kill patients. But the companies did nothing about this dangerous and defective pharmaceutical product. Company officials say they are looking into appealing this jury verdict and maintain that their product is not defective.

Wrongful death claims are filed in New Jersey by members of a deceased person’s family, particularly if the fatal injuries have been caused because of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing. In this case, the companies in question marketed and sold the pain patches knowing about their defective and dangerous nature, and that was enough to convince this jury of the companies’ negligence and wrongdoing.

If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, please call a New Jersey wrongful death attorney at Lependorf & Silverstein for a free consultation and case discussion.