$16.5 million awarded in fatal drug overdose
A Cook County jury awarded more than $16.5 million Monday to the estate of a 38-year-old woman who died after using a pain patch prescribed by her doctor.
Janice DiCosolo, the wife of a Cicero police sergeant and a mother of three, died Feb. 15, 2004, after she used a Duragesic pain patch manufactured and distributed by Alza Corp. and Janssen Pharmaceutical Products LP.
DiCosolo’s doctor prescribed the patch to treat complex regional pain syndrome, according to her lawyer, F. John Cushing.
Instead of releasing medication slowly over a period of three days, the patch delivered a lethal level of fentanyl into her blood stream, 16 times higher than it should have, Cushing said. The patch was recalled a day after DiCosolo died, according to a news release.
Fentanyl is a powerful opiate used in prescription pain medication.