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A Florida family, who filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit involving a pain patch made by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, won a $5.5 million verdict, Tuesday.

The family of a 28-year-old sued Janssen Pharmaceutical Products LP along with ALZA Corp. claiming their pain patch, Duragesic, was responsible for his death on December 17, 2003.

The suit claimed the manufacturers of the patch failed to adequately test and inspect the pain patch prior to disseminating it.

He died while sitting at his computer. He had a Duragesic patch on his right arm to ease chronic hip pain suffered in a car accident when he was younger.

In the recall, Janssen said “exposure to too much medication can occur if the gel leaks directly onto the skin” and that “overexposure may cause potentially life threatening complications.”

More than 50 wrongful death suits have been filed and are pending trial. The Hendelson case was only the second to go to trial and the first to enter federal court. The first was tried in Houston in 2006 and a state jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the family $772,500.

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