The Opioid Epidemic & Lawsuits Against Opioid Manufacturers
The opioid litigation is directly spurred by the opioid epidemic. In one ten-year period, the number of opioid overdoses quadrupled. By 2016, there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths, the majority of them opioid related. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that the opioid epidemic has been underreported by 24%.
The opioid litigation intends to hold the opioid manufacturers liable for the crisis they have created. In 2007, the makers of OxyContin plead guilty to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction and its potential to be abused. The opioid manufacturers pumped millions of dollars into extensive marketing campaigns. At the same time, the opioid manufacturers were handing out millions to Washington lobbyists. The opioid manufacturers weren’t just treating patients, they were creating customers.
Video Source: Vox
FAQ: Opioid Litigation & Lawsuits Against Opioid Manufacturers
Did the victim need a prescription at the time of injury?
Yes. At this time, we believe the only families and victims that may recover compensation from opioid litigation are those with a prescription at the time of injury. Unfortunately, lots of victims without prescriptions have died from opioids. But we believe the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers require a prescription. Essentially, we feel that the law is first going to require that the victim “should” have been using the product in question. If you weren’t supposed to have access to prescription medicine, it can be hard to argue that it did not work as intended.
How long must the victim have held a prescription?
The length of time the victim held a prescription does not affect eligibility to join the opioid litigation. Some victims of opioids may experience an overdose when first using and other victims may have been using for years before an overdose. Lawsuits against opioid manufacturers are more focused on whether there was a prescription at the time of injury or not.
Can surviving family members join the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers?
Yes. A large number of the plaintiffs in the opioid litigation are going to be surviving family members. That is simply because of the deadly nature of opioid medications. The mothers, fathers, children, spouses, and estate holders of the victims can join the opioid litigation in the place of their lost loved one.
Can I afford an opioid litigation attorney?
Yes. Woods & Woods will never ask clients for money upfront to join the opioid litigation. You only pay your attorney for the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers if you win.
How do I pay my lawyer for the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers?
Your opioid overdose injury lawyer only charges if you win. Our fee is a percentage of the settlement and case expenses. The amount will be agreed upon in the contract and our contracts are pretty straightforward.
What do I owe my lawyer if the opioid litigation is not successful?
If the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers are not successful, you pay your attorney nothing. If we don’t win your opioid litigation case, you get to walk away with no costs.
Will there be a second round of opioid litigation?
Maybe. If the first round of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers fails, we fully expect future opioid litigation. Many painkiller overdose injury attorneys are ready for a long fight. The opioid manufacturers are not going to easily give up. The opioid manufacturers are raking in billions of dollars in sales. This lucrative business model is not going away without a long, tough legal battle of opioid litigation.
Potential Compensation For Opioid Litigation Settlements
There are many different forms of compensation that may potentially be available to victims and their families from the opioid litigation. Each case in the opioid litigation is going to be different. Some lawsuits against opioid manufacturers are going to cover some of these forms of compensation and some are not. The victim’s injuries and other factors will determine what forms of compensation the plaintiff will receive from the opioid litigation.
Some families and victims of opioid overdoses may receive compensation for medical bills. The lawsuits against opioid manufacturers could cover all the medical expenses related to hospitalizations, overdose treatments, and other opioid-related medical care. Because of the serious nature of opioids, the medical treatment from overdoses often requires EMTs, ambulances, ICUs, doctors, nurses, and more. The medical bills from opioid-related medical treatment can easily cost thousands of dollars.
There is a possibility that the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers may also include compensation for drug rehabilitation stays. Because this is a medical bill related to opioid use, it may be part of the settlement against the opioid manufacturers. Many families may have spent thousands of dollars on opioid drug rehabilitation. Many victims of opioids suffer from prolonged addiction and may have had multiple drug rehabilitation stays.
The opioid litigation may include compensation for lost wages. If you are no longer able to work from opioid overdose injuries, this may be considered in your lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. If your family lost a loved one, you may also be considered for lost wages compensation in the opioid litigation. Your family may also be reimbursed for funeral expenses and burial costs.
The lawsuits against opioid manufacturers may also recover money for pain and suffering. Another possibility that could be included in a settlement is punitive damages. Your opioid litigation lawyer is going to examine your case and make sure we explore all legal avenues of compensation available. Each case has its own facts, strengths, and weaknesses.
Opioid Litigation: Class Action Lawsuits & Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
There are two different forms of litigation the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers may take:
Class Action Lawsuits Against Opioid Manufacturers:
When a medicine injures or kills many people in the same manner, the drug manufacturers often expect drug injury class action lawsuits. Many class action lawsuits begin after an FDA black-box warning. The opioid class action lawsuits may compile many similar claims into one courtroom. If this happens, there will be only one plaintiff, the class. The court’s decision for the class determines the outcome for all of the plaintiffs.
Opioid Multidistrict Litigation (MDL):
Our opioid litigation lawyers often prefer multidistrict litigation (MDL). In this form of litigation, many similar cases are compiled into one court. However, each case is decided separately. In other words, there may be thousands of plaintiffs whose cases are moved into one court but each will have their own outcome. We generally prefer MDLs because we feel clients get more accurate settlements.
Talk to Our Lawyers About the Lawsuits Against Opioid Manufacturers
Want to learn more about the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers? The drug injury lawyers at Woods & Woods may be able to help. We offer free legal consultations to anyone injured by prescribed opioid medication. If we think you have a case, we can help you join the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. There is never a fee to discuss your possible lawsuits against the opioid manufacturers.
Since 1985, Woods & Woods has helped thousands of drug injury victims get the lawyer they deserve. When you call Woods & Woods, you’ll always get an experienced attorney to help with your lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. We know this is a tough time for your family and we want to take your fight to the opioid manufacturers.
There is never a cost to join the opioid litigation. Woods & Woods opioid litigation lawyers will never ask for money upfront. Our opioid litigation lawyers never bill by the hour and we never charge for phone calls. You only pay your attorney if the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers produce a settlement. Your opioid litigation lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the settlement and case expenses.
Have more questions about the lawsuits against opioid manufacturers? Reach out to us. The opioid crisis has taken thousands of lives. It’s time to hold the opioid manufacturers liable for the epidemic they created.