A lawsuit was filed last month in Illinois on behalf of three plaintiffs who allegedly suffered a morphine overdose caused by tablets of generic morphine sulfate manufactured by Ethex Corp, which were recalled last year when it was discovered that tablets may contain more of the drug then they were supposed to.
The Ethex morphine lawsuit was filed on May 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the generic drug maker and their parent company, KV Pharmaceuticals.
One of the plaintiffs, Lester Skinner, filed the lawsuit claiming that his wife, Carolyn, suffered an accidental morphine overdose death after taking the tablets. The other two plaintiffs, Stephania Fox and Walter Mueller, filed claims on their own behalf, alleging that they suffered severe illness when they received more morphine in each tablet than their doctors prescribed.
The Ethex morphine recall was first issued in June 2008, after it was discovered that manufacturing problems allowed oversized pills to potentially be distributed to customers. Subsequent recalls were issued for additional lots of morphine and at least 30 other generic drugs manufactured by Ethex which may have contained up to twice the necessary amount of the active pharmaceutical ingredient.
FDA inspections have uncovered a number of violations of Good Manufacturing Practices by Ethex and KV Pharmaceuticals, and at least eight warning letters have been issued about violations.
Following the morphine recall, investors filed a class action lawsuit against KV Pharmaceuticals alleging that the company issued false information about their compliance with FDA manufacturing and marketing regulations and failed to disclose the problems with their facility that resulted in the oversized tablets and risk of serious harm to consumers.
In the morphine overdose lawsuit filed in Illinois, plaintiffs allege that KV Pharmaceuticals and Ethex were aware of the problems with the drugs before the recall, and seek damages for medical fees, mental and physical anguish, loss of income, opportunity, family and social expenses, among others.