If you have become addicted to opioids, suffered an overdose or lost a loved one due to opioid abuse, you may be able to file an opioid lawsuit to seek compensation to help cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Our legal team at Phillips Law Group is here to review your claim in a free, confidential legal consultation. We can determine if you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. We have many years of experience recovering millions in compensation on behalf of our clients in Phoenix and throughout the state of Arizona. Our firm obtained $23 million in a dangerous drug lawsuit over Vioxx. Our founder Jeff Phillips is a Leaders Forum member of the American Association for Justice.
Contact us today to schedule a risk-free, zero obligation consultation. There are no upfront fees or costs for our legal services.
Call 1-800-706-3000 today to see how we might be able to help you. You can reach us any time, 24/7.
Do I Have a Valid Case?
Every case is different, so it is difficult for us to determine if you may be eligible to take legal action until we learn more about your situation. There are several factors we may need to consider, some of these could include:
- The specific medication you were taking
- The reason you were prescribed opioids, especially if treating your illness with opioids was not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- How long you have been taking opioids
- The injuries you or your loved one suffered, including overdoses, and whether you were hospitalized
- Whether you were treated for opioid addiction
- Warnings that were given about the medication you were taking
Proving liability in opioid overdose cases can be very difficult without help from an experienced attorney. Phillips Law Group’s defective drug lawyers are standing by to review the specifics of your situation in a free consultation.
We are available to discuss your claim 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Am I Eligible For Compensation?
We recommend that you contact the qualified attorneys at our firm to discuss what your claim may be worth, because there are many factors involved. Generally, victims of defective drugs may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses for hospitalizations and medical treatment
- Drug treatment costs for opioid addiction and overdose
- Lost wages and potential earnings from being unable to work due to opioid abuse
- Physical pain and emotional suffering, such as loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Funeral expenses, burial services or cremation costs if a loved one died due to an opioid overdose
Our lawyers know compensation can never change what happened to victims of the opioid epidemic, but it can help you and your family obtain treatment and try to move forward. Your consultation with us is confidential and 100 percent free of charge.
Our team is here to help. Call 1-800-706-3000 right now.
Opioid Lawsuits and Settlements
Thousands of lawsuits have already been filed against opioid manufacturers for distributing and marketing a dangerous drug. These lawsuits allege that manufacturers actively downplayed the risks of opioids and exaggerated the drug’s benefits.
A few of these lawsuits have been resolved, with drug companies being ordered to pay millions to help victims. In August 2019, an Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its role in the opioid crisis. This marked the first time an opioid manufacturer was held liable in court and made to pay damages to resolve all the claims it was facing. This settlement may have opened the door to more lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and favorable settlements or verdicts for victims and the communities affected by the opioid epidemic.
Purdue Pharma, a privately held pharmaceutical company owned by the Sackler family, also reached a $270 million dollar settlement with the state of Oklahoma in March of 2019 for its involvement in the opioid epidemic, specifically related to its prescription painkiller OxyContin.
In the summer of 2019, the company was still seeking to resolve more than 2,000 pending federal and state lawsuits. Purdue Pharma offered between $10 to $12 billion to settle claims of deceptive marketing practices and profiting from opioid addiction, after earning more than $35 billion in OxyContin sales.
How Bad is the Opioid Epidemic in the US?
Opioids include prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, and illegal drugs like heroin.
Unfortunately, opioid misuse and addiction have become serious public health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses in the U.S. About 68 percent of the 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017 were caused by opioids.
The total economic burden of the opioid crisis, including the cost of addiction treatment, lost productivity and health care is estimated at $78.5 billion a year.
History of the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic started in the late 1990s when the number of deaths from opioid overdoses began to rise after an increase in the prescription of opioid and opioid-combination medications to treat chronic pain in cancer patients.
One reason doctors began prescribing these medications more often is because pharmaceutical companies claimed the risk of opioid addiction and dependency was relatively low. These companies also began to market opioids for use with non-cancer patients, despite studies showing these drugs are highly addictive.
Since then, steps were taken to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions, and this made it harder for patients to get these medications. As a result, heroin became a cheaper, more widely available alternative, and there was a rapid increase in deaths from heroin abuse in 2010.
A few years later, people began abusing synthetic opioids and there was an increase in overdose deaths involving these drugs. A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that synthetic opioids such as fentanyl were the cause of about 46 percent of opioid-related deaths. By 2017, 1.7 million Americans suffered from substance use disorders resulting from the abuse or misuse of opioids.
According to an analysis of Medicare data by Johns Hopkins, as opioid abuse escalated into a public health crisis, thousands of surgeons kept overprescribing opioids. They even prescribed these medications after procedures that caused a small amount of pain. There were even surgeons who prescribed more than 100 pills for the week following surgery.
Federal Regulations of Opioid Medications
The FDA has taken certain actions to address opioid misuse, abuse and addiction over the past years. Since 2016, a new warning label has been added to opioid medications to show the dangerous risks involved in taking opioids and benzodiazepines together. The combination can cause respiratory distress and even death.
Serious withdrawal symptoms from a sudden stop in taking opioid medications also prompted the agency to make label changes to provide guidance to doctors on how to gradually wean a patient off the drug.
What is Being Done About the Opioid Crisis?
In response to the opioid crisis, several government agencies are working to raise awareness, prevent doctors from overprescribing opioids and help treat addiction. The CDC has issued comprehensive guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain not related to cancer treatment. The CDC’s latest prescription drug monitoring program is providing funding to states to improve data collection on opioid overdoses to try to save lives. The FDA has also created an opioids action plan to try to reduce the impact of opioid abuse on communities and families.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is also taking multiple steps to fight the opioid epidemic, including improving access to treatment and recovery support for opioid addiction and overdose, promoting the use of overdose reversal drugs, supporting local opioid overdose prevention and response efforts, and promoting safer practices for pain management.
Even the White House has issued a nationwide call to action to help end the opioid crisis. More than $1.8 million in funding will be given to states for the expansion of access to treatment and to support near real-time data on opioid overdoses. This funding includes more than $900 million for a three-year cooperative agreement with states, territories and localities to improve understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to increase prevention and response activities.
Strategies to Prevent Opioid Misuse and Abuse
If you or someone you love was prescribed opioids for pain management, there are several things you can do to help lower the risk of addiction and abuse. It is important that you work closely with your doctor to create a pain plan that will help reduce your pain while also lowering your risk of opioid addiction. Be sure that you are informed of the risks of taking opioid medications as well as non-opioid treatment options available to manage your pain so you can make an informed decision about your treatment.
Do not take more opioid medication than prescribed as high doses can increase the risk of an overdose. You should also never mix an opioid with alcohol, sleeping pills or other medications, like Valium or Xanax, as this could result in death.
Call Our Firm About an Opioid Lawsuit
If you or a member of your family is a victim of the opioid crisis, contacting a licensed attorney is an important step in determining possible legal options. We may be able to help you pursue compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages caused by opioid addiction or the loss of a loved one caused by opioids.
Learn more about your rights by scheduling a free, no obligation consultation with us today. We are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the legal process at no cost to you. We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront attorney fees for our legal services.
Our main office in Phoenix is just two minutes away from the Addiction Recovery Centers, which is open 24 hours a day.