Opioid Overdose Lawsuit
An opioid overdose lawsuit may be a viable choice for people living in Texas if they have been affected personally by the opioid crisis in their community. Opioid addiction affects millions of families, is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, and has generated several unanswered questions. These questions concern the origin of a problem that has become known as a national epidemic and form the foundation of several investigations by a number of states into the actions of companies involved with the business of making, selling and distributing opioids. As a result of these investigations, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against big pharma and others, claiming they behaved fraudulently and negligently. Those who have lost a family member because of an addiction to opioids, may be able to hold the responsible parties accountable with the help of a bad drug attorney.
If you have lost a family member due to opioid addiction, contact the 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 History of Opioids
The history of opioids, more commonly termed today as painkillers, began with the discovery of opium by the Sumerians in 3,400 B.C., a substance found on the seed pod of the opium poppy that is scraped off and then dried, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It soon became popular as a recreational and medical drug, and the locals originally called it the joy plant because when they used it, they experienced feelings of euphoria. Word of the drug spread and it was traded to other civilizations like the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Persians. It even made its way to the U.S., along with morphine, which was discovered within opium in 1803 by a chemist, and the two drugs were used by doctors during the Civil War to treat soldiers’ pain.
Heroin was found as a compound in opium in the late 1890s and, considered a weaker form of morphine, was used as an ingredient in cough syrups that were given to adults and children alike. In the 1970s, drug manufacturers released two new opioids called Vicodin® and Percocet®, and this launched a whole new line of opioids including the following:
Doctors use them to treat a wide range of painful medical conditions like migraine headaches, cancer, arthritis, post-surgical pain, degenerative disc disease and sprained muscles.
Addiction and Opioids
The Journal of the Civil War Era states that addiction to opioids was first documented in the United States after the Civil War ended. As stated above, thousands of soldiers were given opium or morphine for the control of pain, but found when they tried to quit the drugs, they suffered from horrific withdrawal symptoms. Civil War soldiers were not the only Americans to struggle with addiction – many white Southerners turned to opium or morphine in their misery after their beloved South was left ravaged and in ruins, and to forget their grief over the loss of their son, husband, father or brother. When heroin was found in the late part of the century, doctors believed it would help those who were addicted and were unaware of its stronger hold until it was too late.
Doctors stayed away from opioids until the 1990s when medical evidence was presented to show that the new line of opioids were quite safe to use. As a result of this and other influences, the number of prescriptions grew into the millions, and with it came an increase in the number of people who were addicted to opioids. According to The Texas Tribune, in 2016 an accidental overdose on opioids led to the deaths of 1,375 people in the state and that number is expected to rise.
Opioid Overdose Lawsuits
Since 2004, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against companies connected with the production, selling and distribution of opioids, and many of these have been settled. The largest settlement to date, was a suit brought on by the U.S. Department of Justice against the pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma. After federal investigators found evidence that the company had used incorrect data to promote their drug, OxyContin® as an effective and safe drug for patients, the company agreed to a settlement that resulted in three top executives pleading guilty to fraud and a $600 million-dollar payment.
In May 2018, Texas announced it was filing its own lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, claiming the company’s actions are responsible for the opioid crisis the state is facing. The state alleges the company was not honest with health centers or patients about the level of risk associated with its opioids. It also states that Purdue Pharma violated its laws regarding deceptive trade practices – a claim that other states have also made.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact the Attorney Group for Texas. 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.