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North Carolina Man Fights for Wrongful Death Suit Involving Fentanyl Pain Patches

Posted on Apr 20, 2011
A North Carolina man is now fighting to get his wrongful death case heard in West Virginia after his case was rejected in by a North Carolina judge because of the state’s two-year statute of limitations.

The North Carolina wrongful death case concerns Kathy Mace, a woman who died in 2005 after being treated with a fentanyl pain patch for a related health condition. The woman died, and her relatives believe that it was the direct cause of the the medication patch, which has also been the center of a large number of other wrongful death lawsuit across the country.

Randy Mace, a relative of Kathy, initially sued the fentanyl patch maker for wrongful death in 2007, but discovered that he had brought a claim against the wrong maker of the pain patch. In 2008, he brought another wrongful death case in North Carolina, this time against the correct drug company, Mylan. While the case was dismissed due to North Carolina’s statute of limitations, Mace’s wrongful death attorney argued that the two-year time period should have started only when they discovered the correct pain patch manufacturer.

Currently Mace is trying to get the case heard in West Virginia, but some believe that allowing a case to go forward in West Virginia that involves a North Carolina patient and North Carolina doctors would set a precedent for forum shopping in the future.