According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 183,000 people have died in the U.S. due to opioid overdoses. These figures don’t account for the many families that have been impacted and the lives that have been destroyed due to opioid addiction. As the opioid crisis reached tragic proportions, the CDC and other groups have explored the ways in which the crisis could have been prevented. Several areas were identified. In many instances, people became addicted to opioids because these drugs were overprescribed by doctors. Drug companies may sometimes have misled doctors and the general public about the risk of addiction. This combination of factors may have made the opioid crisis worse.
What are opioids? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, opioids include illegal drugs like heroin, but also include various prescription drugs included fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and more. These drugs have a high risk for addiction, abuse, and overdose. Many people first use opioids after they have been prescribed these drugs, but then they may become addicted and seek out the drugs on the black market or may even start using heroin.
Were you or was someone you love addicted to opioids? Did you lose a loved one due to an opioid overdose, or have you or a loved one suffered due to an opioid overdose and addiction? Opioid addiction and overdose lawsuits can be complex because it can be difficult to differentiate the role of the drug manufacturer and prescriber from an individual’s action or decision to abuse a prescription drug. But, in some cases, states and hospitals have proven successful in litigation against opioid manufacturers. Have questions about whether you might have a personal injury case? The Law Offices of Oscar Syger is a personal injury law firm in Boca Raton, Florida that may be able to assist you with navigating this complex area of personal injury law.
Successful Opioid Litigation?
In the wake of the opioid crisis, some states and hospitals have sued opioid drug makers. NPR reports that hospitals are suing opioid manufacturers for the cost of treating uninsured patients suffering from addiction. According to NPR, opioid overdoses can cost hospitals billions every year, with the average cost for hospitals being around $107,000 per person. Yet, many hospitals may be wary to pursue lawsuits because in some cases hospitals have close ties to the pharmaceutical industry and may have also overprescribed these drugs. Yet, many hospitals claim that they were told that these drugs were safe and wouldn’t lead to addiction in their patients.
Disentangling blame for the opioid crisis can be complex. Who is at fault? Is it doctors and hospitals that prescribed these drugs to patients? Is it manufacturers of the drugs that told patients in some cases that the drugs were not habit forming?
Some states have sued opioid manufacturers, and in some cases, the results have been hopeful. For example, NPR reports that Ohio and Johnson & Johnson reached a “tentative” $20.4 million settlement. While the company doesn’t admit to liability in the case, it does show that when states and governments fight the opioid makers, these companies might be able to shoulder some of the costs of the opioid crisis.
But what about individuals whose lives have been impacted by the opioid crisis? Litigation and lawsuits related to opioid overdose, addiction, and other issues can be complex. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger is a personal injury lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida that may be able to assist you with navigating these complexities.
Types of Opioid Lawsuits
Victims of opioid addiction and overdose may have some options when it comes to pursuing lawsuits. Prescribers have been identified as potentially liable. Some victims have successfully been able to sue doctors for medical malpractice for overprescribing these drugs. A successful lawsuit will come down to whether prescribing an opioid would have been part of the standard of care for your treatment, or if a doctor overprescribed the drug. Another case where a doctor could potentially be held liable is where a patient tells the doctor about his or her prior opioid or heroin addiction, but the doctor doesn’t take this into account when prescribing the drug. These are some scenarios where medical malpractice cases might be possible. Drug manufacturers may be another target as well. The Law Offices of Oscar Syger are personal injury attorneys in Boca Raton, Florida who understand how devastating drug addiction and overdose can be. In some cases, individuals might have avoided this path had they not been prescribed these drugs in the first place. Are you one of them? Reach out to our attorneys at the Law Offices of Oscar Syger or connect with USAttorneys.com to be matched with a personal injury lawyer at our firm today.