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New York Opioids Lawsuit Lawyer
Over the last few decades, the United States of America has been slowly suffering from an opioid addiction epidemic. The amount of citizens who have become addicted to opioids over the last 10 years is staggering. With this rise in addiction, it is natural that there has been a significant increase in overdose deaths.
This drug dependency epidemic has become such a problem that in reaction to the crisis the President of the United States has declared it a national health emergency.
Opioid addiction is now the leading cause of death of people under 50 years old.
Over 60,000 people die due to opioid overdoses each year.
The numbers of deaths have been increasing for the past decade. You may ask how have so many people become addicted to opioids?
One study demonstrated that 75% of the people who are suffering from opioid addiction got their first pills from a legal prescription by a doctor. Since 1999, there has been a 300% increase in the number of opioid prescriptions handed out by the medical profession. Due to this crisis, thousands of lawsuits have been filed in state and Federal courts against doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies for all the death and destruction caused by opioid addiction.
At Sobo & Sobo, L.L.P., we are as concerned about the opioid crisis as you are and we want to help. We understand the pain you may be going through whether you are addicted to opioids or have a loved one who overdosed on opioids. We want to hear your story. We are here to listen and answer your questions about opioid abuse litigation. We want to stand with you and together hold the people and companies responsible for this epidemic accountable.
The first lawsuits filed in relation to the opioid addiction epidemic were from state and local governments. As the years passed and the deaths piled up, individuals and estates of deceased have begun filing lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and health professionals. Additionally, individuals have been filing lawsuits alleging that they became addicted on opioids after being legally prescribed medication. Due to the drug’s highly addictive nature, once the medication ran out, individuals were required to resort to buying illegal drugs in order to feed the addiction.
Holding The Medical Community Accountable
There are three legal approaches depending upon who the defendant is in a particular lawsuit.
The basis for these lawsuits is that drug companies downplayed the addictiveness potential of the drugs and hid evidence which show that opioids are actually very dangerous when liberally prescribed. Drug companies also used deceptive advertising, creating a sense of safety for patients and doctors alike. Further, the drug companies pushed their sales people to sell as much as possible, even providing doctors kickbacks on the amount of opioid medication that was prescribed.
Some doctors were sued for over-prescribing opioids or prescribing high doses when it was not necessary or against medical protocol and standards. Some doctors and medical practices were sued for pushing opioid drugs onto their unsuspecting patients in order to receive monetary kickbacks from the drug companies.
Pharmacies have been included in lawsuits because they have policies in place that ignore suspicious prescribing patterns as well as for failing to report physicians that over-prescribed opioids. The reason that pharmacies do this is increased profits. The more patients that come through their doors to refill a prescription, the more money the pharmacy would make.
These were three parts of a twisted circle within the medical community between the drug companies, the medical professionals and the pharmacies.
There are hundreds of companies facing lawsuits from individuals and the estates of people who have died due to an overdose, but the following are some of the larger ones:
- Cardinal Health
- Endo Pharmaceuticals
- McKeesan Corporation
- Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiaries
- AmerisourceBergen Corp.
- Johnson and Johnson and its subsidiaries
- Purdue Pharma LP
There are currently over 1200 lawsuits filed by county, municipal, and trial governments. All of these lawsuits have been consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Although some individual doctors and medical practices are defendants in these cases, most of the defendants are large pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy companies. These government entities are attempting to recoup the approximately $55 billion in costs that the opioid epidemic has caused.
They are attempting to recoup:
- The increased expense of drug treatment programs run by the government
- The payment of medical bills to hospitals and other medical professionals through Medicaid
- Increased costs of ambulances and EMTs, including the cost of the anti-overdose drug Narcan
- Increase in the costs forced upon the criminal justice system
Even the states have piled on the band-wagon and filed lawsuits against these large corporations. To date, forty-one state’s attorney generals have joined the class action lawsuit.
Individual Opioid Lawsuits
As stated above, individuals are increasingly filing lawsuits based upon opioid addiction or overdose. Individuals can file lawsuits based upon the withdrawal symptoms they suffered, mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, permanent organ damage, and death of a loved one due to overdose.
The compensation and damages you can recover in an opioid epidemic related lawsuit are:
- Costs of medical treatments such as:
- Hospitalization stays
- Drug rehabilitation centers
- Medications such as Narcan
- Legal expenses from previous arrests related to the addiction of opioids
- Lost wages due to missing work whether from:
- Attendance of rehabilitation
- Time Served in Prison
- Future lost wages due to any permanent disabilities related to a drug overdose
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering either by the individual or loved ones
Help For Victims of Opioids
The attorneys at Sobo & Sobo are personal injury law leaders who have experience in all types litigation. During your initial consultation, we listen to your story, in an effort to help you make informed decisions about how to proceed with your dangerous drug case. Take the time to learn about your legal rights.
We want to help. Call Sobo & Sobo at 855-468-7626 as soon as possible. Our prompt action, in partnership with you, could make a difference in the outcome of your case. We would be honored to hear your story and look forward to taking the next step toward Winning Together.