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Darvon, Darvocet Lawsuits Over Generics Dismissed by MDL Judge

  • Written by: Staff Writers
  • 4 Comments

A federal judge has dismissed a number of Darvon and Darvocet lawsuits brought against makers of generic versions of the recalled painkillers, applying a broad interpretation of a recent Supreme Court decision that shields generic drug makers from responsibility to warn patients and doctors about the dangers of associated with medications they manufacture and sell. 

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, who is presiding over all Darvon lawsuits and Darvocet lawsuits pending in the federal court system, dismissed about 50 cases brought against generic drug makers this week.

The dismissals were based on decisions in a number of other courts and Reeves’ interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in Pliva Inc. v. Mensing, which found that generic drug companies can not be held liable for failing to warn about side effects, so long as their labels are identical to those of the original brand-name product.

The cases involve serious and sometimes fatal injuries that were allegedly caused by side effects of Darvocet and Darvon, two once-popular painkillers that were recalled in late 2010 after it was discovered that they increase the risk of life-threatening heart rhythm problems.

Following the recall of Darvon and Darvocet, a number of product liability lawsuits have been against manufacturers of the name-brand medications, as well as manufacturers of generic equivalents, which were widely used throughout the United States.

All of the complaints involve similar allegations that the manufacturers failed to properly research their medications, provide adequate warnings or recall the drugs after it became known that a large number of consumers were dying after taking the painkiller.

Reeves relied in large part on a June 2011 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in a 5-4 split that failure to warn lawsuits against generic drug makers are pre-empted by federal requirements that the “copycat” medications carry the same warning labels as the brand name versions they clone. Therefore, even if a generic drug maker knew or should have known that their medication causes a dangerous side effect, the Supreme Court ruling allowed them to escape liability for failing to warn consumers or the medical community.

In an Order issued March 5, Judge Reeves took the Supreme Court decision a step further. Following the Supreme Court decision in June 2011, Plaintiffs had filed amended complaints alleging defective design, negligent design, strict liability, breach of implied warranty, and negligent marketing. Reeves said that his interpretation of the decision also bars all of those charges as well, saying that generic manufacturers have a “federal duty of sameness” that requires them to make the drug just like the brand name, thus meaning they cannot be held responsible for those charges, either.

The decision leaves several hundred lawsuits filed by individuals who used name-brand versions of the medication. All complaints filed in federal courts throughout the United States have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings before Judge Reeves in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

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4 comments

  1. lucky nichols Reply

    Wow! I filed a lawsuit. However, I had the generic form of darvasette. I just don’t understand why the “copied co” is not liable. Thats giving them a right to kill. If you making mega bucks why inform of the dangers if you cannot be held responsible. So many of your private insurance co. will not pay for the meds if it comes in a generic form. With the high cost of medical insurance some can barely afford the co pay for medical and prescription. Will medicaid and medicare pay for non generics. So many people are dead, barely able to lead a normal life, income taken away b/c they can no longer work. This is not a country with free healthcare and medication, however it sure needs to be.

  2. Doinca Reply

    I doI just out done how can a judge dismiss this claim because you have a generic brand. My insurance company doen not give me a brand name. Is this fair to me as well as others. I have had three stents put in because of this medication and had to wear a heart montior at night because my heart is running like its at the starting gate. Now I’ll tell you that this judge said he is dismissing because it generics brand. Now I am just out done I have to suffer because of this who knows maybe the judge who ruled this decision is a part of the makers of darvocett. IITS JUST NOT fair!!!!!!!!!!

  3. John Reply

    Generic or name brand the risk is the same. I had the opportunity to use both. Knowing now that either were equally harmful to me, doesn’t make me feel any better now. Had I known the risks of using either would have prevented me for farther using then. It’s too late now the damage is done. I now must live with what these prescriptions have done to me. I will never be the same again. This Judge needs to be in my shoes.

  4. margaret a. Reply

    My husband died unexpectedly. He was 47. The death certificate and all the words I’ve never heard of boiled down to HEART!!!! My husband was a good man and worked in the health field. We had a lot to do in life. We can’t now because he’s gone. He’s been gone for 12 years from the generic brand of propoxephene. Since the death of my husband life has been tough and I take one day at a time. I do all the outside work. All the inside work. My husband had life ins. with a bank and the bank will not pay the life ins. owed because in 2002 he did not die an accidental death. Until 2010 when the medication my husband was on was taken off the market. I would consider that accidental death. Not so. Now the banks ins. co. says the statue of limitation ran out. Nothing is fair or truth. The world caught up to me in 08 and needless to say I was hospitalized for depression that just crept up on me. I don’t ever want to go thru that again. The home that my husband and I built had to be sold last year. I’ve had to make mortgage payments since the bank would not recognize an accidental death. I couldn’t afford the payments anymore and keep up with the up keep by myself. My income isn’t high enough. I really wanted to hang on to the property that sat on 10 acres adjoining state game lands. It was built with love. It was a place where I felt close to my late husband. Life doesn’t seem fair. My faith is strong and that is what keeps me going. My husband was caring, a good man. He believed in the Lord Jesus to. Some day we will be together. I believe I have a few years left. It would have been nice to have had an easier life. The companys of Generic prescription Drugs of Darvon, Darvocet, Propoxephene Shame on YOU! And to the Judges That ruled FOR the generic companys Shame on YOU! You killed my husband! Or would it be called Murder? Wrongful Death? I want the generic drug company to pay all my bills every month. I have a car payment, car insurance, homeowners insurance, electric, water, cable, telephone, gas for in my car and lawnmowers, oil for the winter, gas propane for my fireplace, groceries, … YOU took my husband from me and you should have to pay for all the heartache you’ve caused. I have struggled for 12 years since my husbands death. When I had to sell my property that was the last straw. I tried to refinance and was told I did not have enough monthly income although I would have benefited from refinancing. I had no choice but to sell. You had an obligation to the consumer about your prescription drug that kills! I pray you are left holding the bag just as I have been holding the bag since my husband died. Why should life be a picnic for you? It hasn’t been a picnic for me since 2002. I pray the superior california courts and all other courts and the judges do whats right and stop lining their pockets! What a crummy country. We should all move to Canada. They have better health benefits for their people. They care about their people. There are too many drug doctors in this country and some are going to jail. Isn’t the prescription drugs run by the US Government? I knew something was wrong when my Husband died suddenly and never had a heart condition. I tried for 2 years to get an attorney to look at hospital xrays and records and tell me why my husband died. He shouldn’t have died! I could not get an attorney to help me. It wasn’t until 2010 from a commercial on tv about the prescription drugs darvon darvocet propoxephene that I realized I’ve been right the whole time. Something killed my husband, YOU DRUG COMPANYS! Tell me, what are you going to do about it?!

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