Opioid Overdose Lawsuit
An opioid overdose lawsuit may be a viable option for people living in Michigan, who have personally been affected by the opioid epidemic. Over the past 25 years, thousands of people have developed an addiction to opioids and for many, their story started with an injury and receiving a prescription for pain, but led down a darker road, finally ending in death. Lawsuits that have already been filed, allege pharmaceutical companies and other involved entities are the cause of these deaths; big pharma, they claim, flooded communities with prescription opioids while convincing doctors that their drugs were safe to use. People who are mourning the death of loved one may be able to request compensation for the damages they have suffered with the help of a bad drug attorney.
If your loved one became addicted to opioids and then died accidently from an overdose, contact Attorney Group to learn about your options. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated opioid overdose lawyer who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Opioids – Their History
Since the 1970s, American doctors’ focus has gradually shifted to the issue of controlling their patients’ pain and with the shift came an increased use of painkillers described as opioids. Today, there are several opioids available to patients and they include the following:
Opioids are so popular that one documentary states the U.S. is the top consumer of hydrocodone, oxycodone and hydromorphone at 99, 80 and 65 percent, respectively. However, opioids are not a new medical treatment; in fact, they have been used in the form of morphine and heroin, discovered in the 1800s; laudanum, which was first produced in the 1600s; and in their original form – opium, discovered sometime around 3,400 B.C according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Museum. People living in Southeast Asia somehow discovered that if they dried and smoked the milky-white substance found on the pod seed of the poppy, it produced feelings of euphoria. Opium soon became a popular item of trade, finding its way to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and it is said that Alexander the Great was an avid fan of the drug.
Opioids and Addiction
What people did not realize with the discovery of opium, was that the drug was also highly addictive and countless lives have been ruined over the centuries as people spent their entire lives and every dime they had on seeking the euphoric state opium produced. The British smuggled opium into China and addiction became such a concern that the emperor launched two “opium wars” in an effort to eradicate it and the British, but in vain. Opium then found its way to the U.S. where opium dens were established to serve opium addicts.
The discovery of morphine led to the first real epidemic as thousands of Southerners and Civil War veterans became hooked on it. Heroin, thought to be a weaker form of morphine, only exacerbated the problem and was declared an illegal drug through the Heroin Act, passed by Congress in 1924. However, the opium epidemic is worse than ever. Detroit News recently reported that the opioid crisis in Michigan is responsible for more accidental deaths than car accidents; In 2015, opioids were responsible for the deaths of 1,275 people. To try to stem the tide, the state’s legislature passed a package of 10 bills aimed at controlling and tracking the release of opioids to patients.
Opioid Overdose Lawsuits
In April 2018, Kalamazoo County commissioners announced they are currently considering a lawsuit against the companies that manufacture opioids and that most are in favor of taking such action. To date, about 50 communities in the state of Michigan have filed legal action, including the following:
- The city of Detroit
- Grand Traverse County
- Delta County
- The city of Lansing
- The city of Saginaw
- Chippewa County
The lawsuits claim that the companies were aware of the dangers of their products, but downplayed them in order to make hefty profits. One lawsuit states that Purdue Pharma, one of the companies named in the suit, makes close to $3 billion a year from its opioid, OxyContin®.
Purdue Pharma paid a settlement of $600 million in 2006 that went to families of loved ones who died from accidental overdose on opioids and to the U.S. Department of Justice after federal investigators uncovered evidence the company used falsified data to create charts that were aimed at convincing doctors that the drug had a low risk of addiction. In the past year, dozens of lawsuits have been filed across the country by municipalities, families and Native American Tribes. West Virginia reached a $20 million-dollar settlement with an opioid distributor and more settlements are expected as companies try to resolve the legal actions taken against them.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Michigan. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.