Darvocet Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of New York Woman

A <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/darvocet">Darvocet lawsuit has been filed on behalf a 31-year-old New York woman who says the recalled painkiller caused her to suffer a near-fatal cardiac arrhythmia. The plaintiff is being represented by the national <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/">personal injury law firm of Parker Waichman Alonso LLP. The complaint ( Index No. 10-5737), which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and assigned to Judge Weinstein, accuses Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. of negligence and fraud in not acting sooner to recall the drug.

According to the complaint, prior to using Darvocet the Plaintiff did not have a pre-existing cardiac history and had never suffered a cardiac arrhythmia. Shortly thereafter, she experienced a near fatal cardiac arrhythmia as a result of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/darvocet">Darvocet side effects. The plaintiff was forced to undergo painful electrocardioversion and numerous other invasive cardiac procedures including cardiac ablation. The lawsuit alleges that because of her use of Darvocet, the Plaintiff sustained severe, permanent and life threatening personal injuries, pain, suffering, emotional distress, lifelong fear of premature death and the need for continued lifelong cardiac monitoring, treatment and medications.

Propoxyphene is an opiod painkiller that was already known to be highly addictive. In November, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. had agreed to pull the Darvocet, as well as Darvon (Propoxyphene alone) because of their association with heart rhythm problems. The agency said it was also asking the manufacturers of generic Propoxyphene-containing products to remove those products from the market.

As we’ve reported previously, the consumer group Public Citizen has petitioned the FDA twice since 1978 seeking the removal of Propoxyphene products like Darvon and Darvocet from the market. Public Citizen asserts that it has been linked to many thousands of US deaths since 1981, a large proportion of which were likely caused by cardiac toxicity, including the interruption of electrical conduction in the heart. Propoxyphene bans were announced in the United Kingdom almost six years ago, and in Europe, almost 1½ years ago.

The New York Darvocet lawsuit alleges that up until the market withdrawal, Xanodyne continued to ignore the correlation between the use of Darvocet and the increased risk of developing potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, despite the wealth of scientific and medical evidence available.

“This is a classic case of a company that put profits before safety and that point is made crystal clear in the Xanodyne website, which repeatedly highlights the company’s goal of maximizing its profits by taking shortcuts in research and product development. In July 2009, they again delayed the removal of the Darvocet from the market, only to see it removed in November 2010 for the same concern the FDA expressed then,” Matthew J. McCauley, an attorney with Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “Our client was one of millions of people who took Darvocet during that time period and while the company benefited financially by the millions of prescriptions that were paid for by its users, our client nearly paid for it with her life and at 31 years of age, she will continue to pay for it for a long time to come, hopefully.”

Mr. McCauley added that the concern associated with the Darvocet recall is enormous. “We are receiving over 1000 calls per day from potential clients who are concerned that they have been injured by this drug. Yet, despite the magnitude of fear that has been set upon millions of Darvocet users, Xanodyne has done nothing to calm their worries or address their concerns,” he said.

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