Product Liability and Opioid Addiction

Over the years, an “Opioid Crisis” has taken America by storm, which is why many lawsuits have stemmed from the drugs. Doctors, medical organizations, and patients especially have dealt with the after-effects of opioid drugs. These prescription drugs bring one of the worst threats to the lives of many patients: addiction. The rise of using opioids for more than just end-of-life treatment for cancer and other debilitating diseases has increased, which is why their usage has become such a large issue. The truth is, many patients who have used opioids as treatment have become addicted, required emergency room attention, and even require substance abuse treatment. The worst part is that the death toll has risen as well. In only 2010 alone, opioid drug abuse contributed to approximately 16,651 deaths – more than deaths caused by cocaine and heroin.

FDA Warnings

The FDA is fully aware of Oxycontin’s addictive properties and side effects specifically. If a patient has experienced persistent pain for an extended period of time, then they may qualify for opioid use. However, those who do not require regularly scheduled doses of pain medication should refrain from using them, as the FDA warns. Those who overuse the medication could experience a fatality very easily, so this is known as a highly dangerous drug when used improperly.

Governments Suing the Drug Companies

In May 2014, two California counties filed a consumer protection lawsuit against various drug companies. In fact, five of these companies included Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Endo Health Solutions, and Actavis for being involved in deceptive marketing practices. Many believe that these lawsuits were “just” and that the arguments made in these lawsuits should be reviewed so more companies know what they should and shouldn’t do. California and Chicago, where the lawsuits stemmed from, believe that these companies overstated the benefits of Opioids while they understated the risks associated with the drugs. This means that the drug companies technically violated state laws through deceptive marketing and failure to warn of the risks. Both of these state’s lawsuits requested that companies no longer be permitted to inaccurately advertise their drugs.

Impact on Consumers

What happens if the courts determine that drug companies actually engaged in deceptive marketing procedures? Then, for those who have become ill or injured due to the drug, will have a much easier time filing a lawsuit in court. If you speak to an attorney about filing a product liability suit, you will be able to bring a claim in a timely manner and use these court hearings as evidence.

A little about product liability law to aid you in your case: These laws hold the manufacturers responsible for patient injuries when a company fails to warn the public about a drug’s risks. Side effect warnings are on the labels for a reason – to keep you safe from harm. In the case of Opioids, every consumer should be fairly warned that the product is especially addictive and can cause harm or death. You may, then, be able to recover compensation from the manufacturer responsible for the product. This includes medical bills, lost income from lost time at work, and pain and suffering. Give us a call today if you believe you have a case. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we have experience with your product liability claim.