A lawsuit filed on behalf of a North Carolina woman who was incapacitated after being treated with the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl alleges that the woman was wrongfully administered the drug while being treated at a local hospital. Dorothy Juanita Phillips died 18 months after she was treated with the fentanyl pain patch at the Alamance Health Care Center in Burlington, North Carolina.
According to the lawsuit filed by the executor of her estate, Phillips was treated at Alamance in May 2013. At the time she was admitted to the facility, she was alert and able to walk, the lawsuit states. However, three days after she was admitted, an Alamance employee placed a fentanyl pain patch on Phillips’ body, despite the fact that she was not in pain and the employee had not received any doctors’ orders to administer opioid painkillers to the patient.
Three days after the pain patch was administered by the Alamance employee, Phillips’ daughter visited her mother at the health care center. According to the lawsuit, the daughter found Phillips “unable to speak, staring at the ceiling, with vomit on both sides of her gown.”
Phillips’ daughter called an ambulance and had her mother transferred to a nearby hospital. Alamance County EMS personnel examined Phillips and found the fentanyl patch on her chest. Although she was treated at the Alamance Regional Medical Center, Phillips was unable to walk, talk, or feed herself for the remainder of her life. She died in November 2014, 18 months after she was treated with fentanyl at the Alamance Health Care Center.
The lawsuit against the health care center alleges that Phillips should never have been treated with fentanyl. The lawsuit alleges that Alamance Health Care Center committed medical malpractice by administering the pain patch inappropriately, for failing to notice the negative effect that the patch had on the patient’s health, for inadequately staffing the facility, and for failing to properly train its staff.
If you have lost a loved one due to a fentanyl overdose or a combined drug overdose caused by the interaction between fentanyl and other CNS depressant drugs, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf. The first step in determining whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit is to speak with an attorney with experience in handling fentanyl litigation.
When doctors fail to follow established protocols for prescribing fentanyl or other painkillers, abuse, addiction, or deadly overdoses may result. When patients are prescribed too many painkillers by a doctor, or when patients are kept on these opioid medications for too long, they may be at risk of suffering an overdose. Patients who are prescribed fentanyl in combination with other central nervous system depressant medications may also be at risk of suffering a combined drug overdose.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have successfully handled more lawsuits involving fentanyl products than all other attorneys in the U.S. combined. Our attorneys have achieved verdicts and settlements in fentanyl lawsuits on behalf of our clients totaling tens of millions of dollar. Our lawyers will work on your behalf to ensure that we achieve the best results in your case.
For a free legal consultation from an attorney to find out if you are eligible to file a fentanyl case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located at the top of this page.