On February 3rd of 2009, the family of Leann Flynn filed a lawsuit against ALZA and Sandoz, Inc., the designer and manufacturer, respectively, of a a fentanyl patch alleged to have killed Leann Flynn.  This lawsuit explains that ALZA designed the patch and manufactured it at their Vacaville plant for themselves and for Sandoz.  This is one of several lawsuits that allege that the Vacaville Duragesic plant makes the brand name Duragesic fentanyl patches as well as the generic patches.  On the plus side, that means that there is absolutely no reason not to buy the generic since they’re made on the same machine in the same plant as the name brand patch.  The downside is that if ALZA is having quality control problems, it will affect every brand of patch made there.

The lawsuit also named anonymous doctors and an anonymous medical group as well.  My guess is that Sandoz and ALZA will argue that these medical defendants were fraudulently joined to prevent diversity among the parties.  Diversity is a legal term that deals with whether the parties to a lawsuit are all citizens of the same or different states.  If the parties aren’t completely diverse, the defendants can’t remove the case to federal court.  The lawyers for this fentanyl lawsuit chose to file in Indiana state court.  It is often thought that state court is friendlier to plaintiffs than federal court.  Choosing the appropriate court to file in is one of the first choices a fentanyl lawyer will have to make if he or she decided to file a lawsuit over a Duragesic or fentanyl patch.

Here is the entire text of this Duragesic lawsuit in Adobe PDF format.