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Darvocet Lawsuit Filings in Federal MDL Begin to Mount

More than 100 Darvocet lawsuits and Darvon lawsuits have been filed in federal courts by plaintiffs who say that the drug’s side effects caused heart rhythm problems, and the number of cases is expected to continue growing. 

It has been just three months since a panel of federal judges ordered that the federal Darvocet litigation be consolidated and centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky as part of an MDL, or multi-district litigation.

At the time of the consolidation, there were 17 cases. According to recent court documents, that number has grown to more than 100.

On November 18, plaintiff attorneys filed a motion to establish a common benefit fund. If approved, the fund would receive a percentage of any Darvocet settlement or recovery in every federal case and participating state court cases, disbursing funds to attorneys who performed work or incurred costs that benefit all plaintiffs. The request notes that Darvocet lawyers anticipate that hundreds more cases will ultimately be transferred to the MDL before the litigation is resolved.

All of the lawsuits over Darvocet and Darvon allege that the manufacturers of the recalled pain medication failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community about the risk of serious and potentially fatal heart rhythm problems.

Darvocet was a popular pain medication that combines acetaminophen with propoxyphene, the active ingredient in the similar painkiller Darvon. The drugs were sold by Eli Lilly for about 40 years before distribution rights for the name brand version of the drug were sold to AAIPharma in 2002, and it was subsequently purchased by Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals in 2005. Generic versions of the medications are also available from a number of different drug makers

In November 2010, a Darvon and Darvocet recall was announced after the FDA concluded that side effects of propoxyphene can cause significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart.  The heart problems may increase the risk of heart arrythmias, myocardial infarction and sudden death. Both the brand name drugs and their generic equivalents were pulled from the market.

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