Hylla to hear motions disbursing minor's settlement in OxyContin case

Amelia Flood Jul. 1, 2011, 8:35am


Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla will hear motions July 6 in a move to end a 2008 suit brought over a woman's death involving the drug OxyContin.

Hylla is set to hear arguments on disbursing the settlement to a minor involved in the suit filed by Gordon McDowell, the special administrator of the estate of Ermida McDowell beginning at 10 a.m.

Gordon McDowell is suing The Purdue Pharma Company, Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue
Pharma Inc., Purdue Frederick Company, The P.F. Laboratories, Inc., The Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Inc., and Walgreens on 11 counts of strict product liability, civil conspiracy, willful and wanton misconduct and other claims.

Gordon McDowell claims that the defendants knowingly made and sold OxyContin, an opioid analgesic drug that is meant to treat pain in cancer patients and that the drug caused his wife's death.

The plaintiff contends that OxyContin is addictive, was aggressively marketed as having a lower addiction threshold than other medications, and that the defendants suggested doctors prescribe it in the place of less addictive medications.

He claims the drug's gel coating was too thin to allow for the effective deliverance of medication over a 12 hour period as indicated but rather that it released the pain killer oxycodone in a short instance and did not control pain.

As a result of the defendant's alleged actions, Ermida McDowell died from an OxyContin overdose March 22, 2002.

Walgreens was dismissed in 2009.

The case settled earlier this year in mediation.

The terms of the settlement are not yet available in the case file.

Hylla appointed attorney David Jones to serve as guardian ad litem for the plaintiff's son in an order signed May 20.

Hylla set the final hearing on the settlement disbursement in an order signed June 24.

Michael Reid represents the plaintiff.

Robert Shultz represents the Abbott defendants.

Larry Hepler represents the Purdue defendants.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-399.

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