Opioid Overdose Lawsuit
An opioid overdose lawsuit may be a viable option for New Yorkers who have been personally affected by the loss of a loved one to opioid addiction. Opioid addiction is a serious problem that impacts the lives of millions of people throughout the United States and results in the death of more than 40,000 people a year, surpassing fatalities from car accidents. While some become addicted to opioids through illicit drug use or experimentation, others develop an addiction after they are prescribed opioids by a doctor. Claiming that prescription opioid addiction is the cumulation of aggressive marketing tactics and poor oversight, numerous lawsuits have been filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors by families, cities, counties, states and the federal government. Those who have lost a parent, child or sibling to opioid addiction may be able to seek compensation from the responsible parties with the help of a bad drug attorney.
If your loved one became addicted to opioids and died after accidentally overdosing on them, 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 are Opioids Used For?
From the moment that the original opioid, opium, was discovered, opioids have been used for medicinal and recreational purposes, and that pattern still exists today. In a medical setting, opioids are prescribed when a patient is suffering from physical pain, due to their ability to block pain messages while also making the patient feel better. Some opioids are stronger than others and include the following:
Since 3,400 B.C., opium and other opioids have been used to treat a number of medical conditions such as pneumonia, childbirth, post-surgical pain, fibromyalgia, female diseases, coughs, war wounds and cancer.
After heroin, another opioid that is created from opium, was termed an illegal drug with the passing of the Heroin Act in 1924, opioids were rarely prescribed by doctors except in cases involving a painful terminal illness or cancer. According to CNN, that changed in the 1990s when the number of prescriptions for opioids began increasing on an average of two-three million a year. When OxyContin® was launched by Perdue Pharma in 1996, doctors received a video from the company that promoted the safety and effectiveness of the drug, and soon began prescribing the painkiller on a regular basis, so much so that prescriptions for opioids jumped by 11 million within a year.
The Addictive Power of Opioids
Opioids produce an extra chemical, called dopamine, which creates a sense of euphoric bliss and this has made it a desirable drug in the medical community. At the same time, it also makes it an addicting medication because the body develops a tolerance that requires the person to take more in order to get the same effect. Once a person becomes addicted, or dependent on the drug, it is extremely difficult to get off it and they can spend years in and out of treatment programs. Some turn from the prescription opioids to heroin since it is cheaper to obtain, but as they do so their risk of accidently overdosing on opioids increases.
The New York State Opioid Annual Report, published in October 2017, shows that in the year 2015, 2,185 people died as the result of an opioid overdose; 1,408 of those deaths were caused by opioid prescription drugs. That number jumped significantly in 2016 to more than 8,000 fatalities with opioid prescription drugs claiming 2,616 lives – almost a 100 percent increase. The New York State Senate announced in March 2018 that it wants to designate $265 million to the opioid epidemic for the use of treatment and prevention of opioid abuse.
Opioid Overdose Lawsuits
New York City filed a lawsuit in January 2018 against eight companies it alleges are responsible for the opioid epidemic ravaging its communities. The suit seeks $500 million in damages and joins the lawsuits that have been filed by more than 12 counties in the state – all claim that the defendants engaged in fraudulent marketing practices and shipped large amounts of opioids to make more profits. The lawsuit filed by New York City names manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Janssen, Teva; and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corporation as some of the parties responsible.
In 2017, Cardinal Health settled its lawsuit with West Virginia for $20 million; and McKesson Corporation settled a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to a ban that prohibits them from sending any opioids to five states and paying $150 million. Purdue Pharma paid $600 million and three top executives pleaded guilty to fraud in 2006 as part of its settlement with the U.S. DOJ after investigators uncovered proof the company created fake charts to convince doctors their opioid, OxyContin®, had little risk of dependency.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for New York. 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.