Opioid Overdose Lawsuit
An opioid overdose lawsuit may be an option for people living in Ohio if they have a spouse, child, parent or sibling who became addicted to opioids and then died after accidentally overdosing on them. Many people think of opioid addiction taking place in a dark alley or at a wild party, but the truth is that for many it starts with taking a doctor’s prescription for an injury from a car accident, slip-and-fall, sports injury or some other type of event. Before they realize it, their bodies have acclimated to the drug and when they try to go off it, they suffer horrendous withdrawals and must take more to function. Lawsuits allege manufacturers of opioids, distributors and even some doctors have generated a national epidemic that has resulted in the deaths of thousands. People who are struggling with the loss of a family member from an accidental opioid overdose may be able to seek compensation from responsible parties with the help of a bad drug attorney.
If you are grieving over the death of a loved one because of 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.
The Rise of Opioids
In 1996, doctors’ offices across the country received a video from a pharmaceutical company called Purdue Pharma, which provided six stories of people’s lives that had been dramatically improved by its new opioid painkiller called OxyContin®, according to CNN. Around the same time, medical papers began to appear that promoted opioids as a safe and effective pain treatment for patients to use, while discussing the responsibility of doctors to make sure their patients were not experiencing pain. This combination of material greatly influenced the medical community and doctors began prescribing opioids on a regular basis, choosing from a wide selection such as:
All opioids are either synthetically made or are organically related to opium, a drug that was discovered by the Sumerian civilization in about 3,400 B.C. Opium was perhaps one of the first substances to be used recreationally, but ancient physicians were also aware that it had a unique ability to control their patients’ pain. This knowledge passed on to doctors in Egypt, Rome, Greece, Persia and eventually Europe and Asia. In the 1800s, the first opioids – morphine and heroin – were discovered separately within opium itself by chemists and were launched by pharmaceutical companies for medical purposes.
While opioids are one of the most popular treatments for severe pain, they are also highly addictive because the body adapts to them relatively quickly. As doctors increasingly prescribed opioids, states across the country, including Ohio, noticed that the number of people who were misusing opioids and struggling with addiction involving them was growing. The problem has become so serious that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared it an epidemic that involves people of all ages, income levels, education levels and backgrounds. NBC News recently reported that for people under the age of 50, deaths caused by guns or car accidents are surpassed by accidental overdoses on opioids.
In Ohio, opioid addiction has taken a strong hold; the state says the number of overdose deaths on opioids is expected to be over 10,000 for 2018 – the highest for any state in the U.S., and the state has been given the title “overdose capital of America.” Of especial concern to authorities is the rising popularity of fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is being synthetically manufactured for street sales. Fentanyl is administered in hospital settings to patients with severe medical conditions, such as cancer, but the street fentanyl is so lethal that law enforcement officers must wear protective gear to handle it when they come across it.
Opioid Overdose Lawsuits
Over 400 lawsuits have been filed from across the nation by Native American tribes and government entities, alleging that opioid manufacturers, retailers and distributors are responsible for the opioid epidemics in their neighborhoods, and many of these have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation and assigned to a federal judge in Ohio. Currently, the judge has ordered the attorneys representing both sides to prepare for discussions concerning settlements that would include solutions to the current national epidemic.
The state of Ohio announced in February of 2018 that it had filed its own lawsuit in Madison County Common Pleas Court, a county that has been hit hard by the opioid crisis. The lawsuit alleges that distributors sent overly large orders of opioids into the state; in 2016 many counties received enough pills for every resident, including children, to have over 100 pills; and statewide the average was 65 pills per resident. Ohio claims that such large shipments show a deliberate act of negligence on the part of distributors, while manufacturers engaged in deceptive and aggressive marketing tactics.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Ohio 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.