Opioid Abuse Lawsuits

Opioid Lawsuit Lawyers

County, City & State Hospitals Bearing the Burden

It is no secret that opioid use has significantly increased over the years, at least in part by, due to over-prescribing by doctors and lack of adequate instructions and warnings from some drug manufacturers. From the manufacturers and marketers that encourage the drug’s production and distribution, to the medical professionals who prescribe opioids to patients that have alternate courses of treatment available; the rise of opioid abuse has lead to numerous pharmaceutical negligence lawsuits being filed on behalf of government agencies that have had to bear the costs of dealing with the aftermath of opioid addiction.  These claims are being filed against over-prescribing doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and manufacturers that are alleged to have contributed to the epidemic.

Commonly Prescribed Opioids

pill bottleOpioid narcotics are manufactured by different pharmaceutical companies. Commonly prescribed opioids include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

These medicines are often prescribed to patients who have experienced severe physical trauma, like a serious car accident or sports injury. Some medical clinics have engaged in such a common practice of over-prescribing these narcotics that the U.S. DEA has engaged in numerous crackdowns to shut down these “pill mills” as they have become known.

Allegations of Common Opioid Lawsuits

When a person uses powerful pain medication like opioid drugs, even under a legal prescription, the person can become addicted. After that point, even if the doctor takes away the prescription, the person may suffer from addiction symptoms and engage in drug-seeking behavior.  This, in turn, may lead to them seeking the drugs illegally through pill mills or on the street. Furthermore, the lack of access from having the prescription discontinued may cause them to move toward illegal narcotics like heroin.

The desperation of these individuals to satisfy their addiction has led to an increase in criminal activity, as well as the cost of public health services. Opioid abuse lawsuits filed against manufacturers claim that the pharmaceutical companies knowingly hid evidence regarding the danger of opioids, ignoring the highly-addictive nature of these drugs. Some even accusing corporations of establishing fake third-party advocacy campaigns to endorse their advertising of these drugs.

Who Are Opioid Lawsuits Being Filed Against?

Opioid lawsuits have been filed against the following types of defendants:

  • Hospitals
  • Medical Professionals
  • Negligent Pharmacies
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
  • Wholesale Distributors

It is important to understand who these lawsuits are being filed against and how each type of defendant is alleged to be responsible for the opioid epidemic.

Government Plaintiffs Filing Opioid Lawsuits

Government officials at the local, county, and state levels have filed lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors, claiming that opioids have had a detrimental effect on public health and safety. From a significant growth in addiction and drug-related crimes to an overall increase in the costs of public services, such as the police and health care providers, governmental agencies have had enough. Recovering from the damages associated with opioid abuse is a time-consuming and expensive process.

Because of the amount of government spending that goes into combating opioid addictions and overdoses, the following pharmaceutical manufactures and distributors have been named as defendants in government-filed opioid lawsuits:

  • Allegran
  • Cardinal Health
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)
  • McKesson Corporation
  • Purdue Pharma
  • Teva Pharmaceutical
  • Watson Pharmaceuticals

Violation of the Controlled Substances Act

The plaintiffs in these cases allege that manufacturers and distributors violated the federal Controlled Substances Act when they failed to notify the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of suspicious opioid purchases. These lawsuits continue to making harsh claims against the defendants, including the use of money to increase the sale of these drugs, ultimately allowing opioid abuse to become uncontrollable.

Damages Suffered by Government Agencies

The health and social effects of opioid abuse within society led government agencies to seek financial reimbursement from negligent manufacturers and distributors. The estimated damages exceed $50 billion each year. Specific damages government agencies are seeking compensation for include:

  • Costs for additional law enforcement and medical personnel
  • Costs of prosecution and jails
  • Maintaining and staffing treatment facilities

If you are a part of a governmental agency that has experienced excessive damage due to opioid abuse, consult an experienced opioid abuse lawsuit attorney today. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we can connect you with an attorney that can discuss your legal options.  Call (713) 932-0777 to learn more about your rights.

At the present time, we are not able to help cases involving individuals only who have become addicted.