On January 12th of 2009, the family of James Pope filed a lawsuit against Mylan, Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Mylan Technologies, Inc. The Mylan defendants designed and manufactured a fentanyl patch that the lawsuit alleges killed James Pope. This patch is the matrix design, which means the fentanyl is in the adhesive instead of the reservoir design, like the Duragesic patch. This lawsuit was filed in Texas because the Popes live in Texas. Many Mylan fentanyl lawsuits are filed in West Virginia, where Mylan Pharmaceuticals is headquartered.
Like many other fentanyl lawsuits, this one alleges that the patch was defectively designed and defectively manufactured. I’m waiting to see how the lawsuits against Mylan fare because most of the Duragesic lawsuits allege that the matrix design is the safer design. It’s entirely possible that both the matrix and the reservoir design is unsafe; I know I wouldn’t use either patch.
Unfortunately, Texas courts are very skeptical of product liability lawsuits like this one, so the plaintiffs are going to have an uphill battle. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to reviewing the documents produced in discovery.