Opioid Overdose Lawsuit
An opioid overdose lawsuit may be an option for people in the state of New Jersey if they have a loved one who developed an addiction to opioids and then died as a result. Opioids and addiction have a long history since the discovery of the original opioid, opium, but over the last 30 years the number of people who have become hooked on opioids has reached new levels, resulting in a national epidemic. Cities, states and families have been left struggling with the effects of addiction financially, emotionally, mentally and physically. Tracing the problem back to prescription opioids in many cases, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against pharmaceutical and distribution companies, alleging their deceptive and fraudulent actions were responsible. People who are personally affected by the opioid epidemic may be able to seek appropriate compensation for their damages with the assistance of a bad drug attorney.
If you have lost a loved one as the result of an opioid addiction, 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 – What are They?
Many people are unaware that opioids can be traced back thousands of years to the Sumerian civilization in Southeast Asia. There, the people noticed that the poppy’s pod seed leaked a liquid that was white like milk and then when it was dried and smoked, it made them feel immensely happy. The drug became known as opium and today there are several pharmaceutical drugs made naturally or synthetically from it such as:
Opioids are extremely popular today in the United States as a treatment for bodily pain and they are given to patients suffering with conditions such as migraine headaches, arthritis, torn ligaments, muscle sprains, cancer and degenerative disc disease. In fact, one documentary on opioids states that the U.S. is the top consumer of hydrocodone, oxycodone and hydromorphone, showing the emphasis that doctors place on their patients’ comfort level. However, prior to the 1970s, doctors only prescribed opioids for terminal conditions or cancer, especially after the Heroin Act was passed in 1924.
A History of Opioid Addiction
The Heroin Act was the result of an opioid epidemic that started after the Civil War, when the wounded were given opium and a new component of opium – morphine – to control their pain. Within a number of years, thousands of people were struggling with addiction to the drugs, according to The Journal of the Civil War Era, especially those in the southern states, which were left in ruins after the war ended. Many turned to opioids to deal with their grief and misery, while others were given the drugs in a prison or hospital and became immediately hooked on them, experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms that were described as horrific.
When heroin was discovered in the 1890s, it was thought to be much weaker than morphine and the perfect solution for pain, and it was given to those who were already addicted as a way to wean them off of the morphine or opium. Doctors soon realized however, that heroin was actually more potent and addicting, leading to Congress’ passing of the Heroin Act. Opioids became a drug used only in the most dire cases until the late 1900s when new prescription opioids were developed, but as these new drugs grew in popularity, a new epidemic emerged. New Jersey has been hit hard; New Jersey Public Media reports that heroin overdose rates are three times higher than the national average; and close to 14,000 people have died as the result of an overdose on opioids – more than any other accidental death cause.
Opioid Overdose Lawsuits
New Jersey’s Attorney General announced in October 2017 that the state had filed a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer called Perdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin®. The lawsuit alleges that Purdue convinced doctors and the public that not enough was being done to relieve patients’ pain, thereby opening the door for the prescription of more opioids and higher revenues for the company. The suit also claims the company engaged in aggressive marketing tactics, and deceived the public and medical community about the addictiveness of the drug. Not only has the state taken legal action, but so too have cities and counties within its borders.
Overall, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against drug distributors and the companies that make opioids, and many have reached multimillion-dollar settlements. In 2017, the state of West Virginia received $20 million in a settlement with Cardinal Health, a distributor that shipped millions of pills into the state’s working-class communities. The same year, McKesson Corporation agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $150 million and to ban shipments to five states after it was accused of shipping suspiciously large orders of opioids to those states.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for New Jersey. 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.