Opioid Overdose Lawsuit
An opioid overdose lawsuit may be an option for Nevadans whose loved one became addicted to a prescription opioid and then died after an accidental overdose. Across the country, states are seeing a rise in opioid addiction and deaths, which has left grieving families and overwhelmed municipalities asking many questions about how opioids became such a problem. National statistics indicate that deaths caused by opioids have surpassed the number of people who die in auto accidents each year and with the introduction of a highly toxic street opioid called fentanyl, those numbers may only continue to climb. Alleging that the current epidemic was caused through acts of fraud and deceptive marketing, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against opioid distributors and manufacturers. Therefore, people who are dealing with the loss of a family member to opioids may be able to hold the responsible parties financially accountable with the help of a bad drug attorney.
If you have lost a family member because they accidently overdosed on opioids, 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.
What Exactly are Opioids?
Around 3,400 B.C., the Sumerians in Southeast Asia discovered a liquid substance leaking from the seed pod of a flowering plant and found that when they smoked this liquid, it produced feelings of euphoria. They called it the “joy plant,” but most people know this substance by its other name – opium, which is known as both a recreational and medicinal drug. Over the last two hundred years, chemists and laboratories have used opium to create natural and synthetic medicinal products that are commonly termed opioids. They are solely used by medical professionals to treat patients experiencing different levels of pain from conditions that include the following:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Migraine headaches
Opioids are used globally but they are especially popular in the United States; CNN recently reported that in 1997, prescriptions for opioid prescriptions increased by 11 million nationally after Purdue Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, launched its new opioid, OxyContin®. To make sure the public knew about OxyContin®, the company sent 15,000 videos to doctor’s offices across the country that related six success stories.
Addiction and Opioids
As prescriptions for opioids continued to grow, cities, states and the federal government began to see a substantial increase in the number of people who were struggling with addiction as well as those who were dying from accidental overdose. Today, the problem has become so serious that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared it a national epidemic that kills more people every year than auto accidents. Compounding the problem is the fact that when people become addicted to prescription opioids, they often turn to the street opioid, heroin and this is now being replaced with fentanyl, which is significantly stronger.
In a report on opioid abuse in Nevada, the state’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health states that between 2009 and 2013, over 18,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms throughout the state were related to dependence on opioids, including heroin, with over 4,000 in 2013 alone. Additionally, the number of deaths caused by accidental opioid overdose and the number of opioids sold were among the highest in the country. To address the problem, the state’s legislature passed a new law in 2017 reducing the amount of opioids that a doctor can prescribe to a patient, to only two weeks’ worth.
Opioid Overdose Lawsuits
In May 2018, Purdue Pharma was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the state of Nevada, which claims the pharmaceutical company is responsible for the epidemic. The lawsuit allegations include the following:
- Doctors were led to believe they could manage the addiction risk in their patients.
- The public was misled in the effectiveness of opioids.
- The company encouraged physicians to engage in long-term use of opioids, claiming they were highly beneficial.
- The company did not reveal that higher doses of opioids posed risks to patients.
- The company promoted the belief that if a patient became addicted, it was because they were not receiving enough opioids to relieve their pain.
The lawsuit also claims the company downplayed the addictive qualities of their opioid, which resulted in thousands of people becoming addicted and dying as the result of that addiction.
Purdue Pharma has been hit with several other lawsuits from across the country and in 2006, agreed to pay $600 million as part of a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of the deal, three of Purdue’s top executives pleaded guilty to fraud, the result of an investigation in which the DOJ found evidence the company had created false charts to promote the message that its drug was safe to use.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Nevada Injury Attorney Group. 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.