Little Rock pain doctor Richard Johns, M.D., was arrested on May 19, 2015 on 187 counts of fraudulent prescription practices. According to news sources, Dr. Johns’ arrest occurred after a drug overdose death was connected to a fraudulent prescription obtained from him. Medical malpractice attorneys note that doctors who commit fraudulent prescription practices may be liable in a painkiller overdose lawsuit, in addition to any criminal charges they might face.
If you have been injured, or a loved one was killed, as the result of a painkiller overdose linked to the prescribing practices of a physician, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions and inform you of your options. If you choose to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated painkiller overdose attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Law Enforcement: Over $500,000 in Fraudulent Prescriptions
According to KTHV News, the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department, which held Dr. Johns after his arrest, claimed to have found that
“187 fraudulent prescriptions have been filled and distributed within the illicit market in Lonoke County alone” since July 2014. They said that’s the equivalent of almost 17,000 Oxycodone pills with a street value of $505,000.
The report goes on to state that Dr. Johns was arrested “after detectives learned that a drug overdose was connected to a fraudulent prescription obtained from him.”
UPDATE: Federal Grand Jury Issues Indictment
According to news reports, Dr. Johns and 18 others were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in September 2015 on charges of conspiracy distribute oxycodone in Lonoke, White and Pulaski counties. The Arkansas Times stated:
U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer said Johns actions made him no different than a “common, street-level drug dealer on the street” and he would be treated as such. “As a society we have granted certain health care professionals the right to prescribe and use highly addictive drugs to treat their patients. When that right is abused, we will aggressively pursue those health care professionals as the criminals that they are.”
The indictments are part of a larger and ongoing effort by the federal government to crack down on illegally diverted prescription drugs.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a type of opioid pain medication that works by reducing pain messages that are sent to the brain by the body. This reduces the feelings of pain that a patient experiences. Common types of opioid painkillers include:
Opioid painkillers are very effective, but they are also highly addictive and can pose a danger to the patient if not properly managed.
Arkansas Painkiller Overdose Lawsuit
When an overdose from a prescription pain medication occurs, an affected patient or the family of a patient who died may be eligible to file a painkiller overdose lawsuit against the prescribing physician. Such a lawsuit would be based in medical malpractice, and a doctor may be liable when he or she prescribes too much of the drug, neglects to instruct the patient on the safe use of the drug, or prescribes other drugs that are contraindicated for use with the painkiller. If a doctor assists a person in obtaining a prescription pain medication fraudulently, the doctor may likewise be liable for medical malpractice.
Patients or families affected by a prescription pain killer overdose are encouraged to consult with an attorney to discuss their legal rights and potential compensation to which they may be entitled. The types of compensation recoverable in a negligence case include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Family members of persons killed as a result of negligence may be eligible to recover wrongful death damages to compensate them for the loss of a loved one.
For More Information, Contact Us Today.
If you would like more information about a potential painkiller overdose lawsuits, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can discuss your options, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated painkiller lawsuit attorney. The law limits the time you have to pursue a claim, so contact us today.