Terrebonne Parish resident sues doctor for prescribing fentanyl patches

Michelle Keahey Feb. 25, 2012, 1:25am

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana physician is being sued in federal court for allegedly breaching the applicable standard of care in prescribing fentanyl patches to a woman, who was later found unresponsive.

Jeanne Samanie, individually and on behalf of her minor son, filed suit against Dr. Karen Morgan, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., Watson Laboratories Inc. and Watson Pharma Inc. on Jan. 17 in Terrebonne Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Feb. 17.

According to the complaint, Samanie was allegedly prescribed 75 mcg fentanyl patches on Jan. 12, 2011 by Dr. Morgan. The patch is a prescription pain medication for moderate to severe chronic pain that is advertised as providing long-lasting relief from persistent pain.

Approximately seven days later, Samanie was found unresponsive and was treated for rhabdomyolysis, hyperkalemia and anemia. She was later diagnosed with acute renal failure, respiratory failure, severe weakness and left foot drop.

Samanie argues that the patches caused her conditions and that the patches were inappropriate treatment due to her medical history and a contradiction of other medications she was taking.

She also contends that her patches leaked and caused her to receive a harmful dose of fentanyl into her blood system.

The defendants are accused of strict product liability and breach of warranty for failing to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazards associated with use and for the defective and unreasonably dangerous design and composition of the medication.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages for physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional pain, permanent disability, suffering, fear, anguish, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, loss of consortium, interest and court costs.

Samanie is represented by Michael J. Samanie and Stephen S. Stipelcovich of Law Offices of Michael Samanie in Houma.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00453

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