Three Louisiana residents have filed a Darvocet lawsuit against a number of drug manufacturers, claiming that the recalled painkiller caused them to suffer serious heart problems.
The complaint was filed by Billy Lambert, Gladys Delaune and Margaret Seagraves on March 4 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Listed as defendants are Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the manufacturer of Darvocet, and a number of generic Darvocet makers, including Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as well as previous Darvocet manufacturers, AAIPharma Services and Eli Lilly and Co.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have developed serious heart problems from Darvocet, including wide complex tachycardia, which is potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia that originates in the ventricles causing an abnormal heart rhythm that exceeds the normal range for a resting heartbeat.
Darvocet was a popular pain medication that combines acetaminophen with propoxyphene, the active ingredient in the similar painkiller Darvon. It was 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 in 2005.
In November 2010, the FDA concluded that side effects of Darvocet and Darvon can cause significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart, resulting in a recall of Darvocet and generic equivalents. The heart problems may increase the risk of heart arrythmias, myocardial infarction and sudden death.
The lawsuit claims that all of the name-brand drug makers and the generic manufacturers, knew or should have known about the risk of Darvocet problems and failed to warn consumers or doctors. The complaint charges the defendants with negligence, fraud, breach of warranty, and liability.
Since the recall, a growing number of individuals throughout the United States have filed a Darvon lawsuit or Darvocet lawsuit against makers of the drugs alleging that sudden and sometimes fatal heart problems were allegedly caused by the drugs.
A motion is currently pending with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to have the Darvon and Darvocet litigation centralized before one judge for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for March 30 in California.