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Opioids Injuries & Deaths Lawsuits

Use of opioids has become a national crisis—addiction and overdose of opioids cause tens of thousands of deaths every year, and the problem seems to be getting worse. In fact, the average life expectancy in the United States has decreased and overdose deaths due to the use of opioids is a key contributor to this decline. Litigation against companies that make these dangerous pain killers to hold them responsible for the effects of the crisis has been ongoing, but recent news of settlement from some of the companies can bring hope to the millions of people and families affected by the opioid crisis.

If you have suffered from the dangerous side effects of opioid use, or you have lost a loved one to opioid addiction or overdose, it is crucial that you to speak with an experienced Woodland Hills opioid injury attorney to see how you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your injuries and tragic losses.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs. The illegal drug Heroin is classified as an opioid. However, there are several legal opioids prescribed to or given to patients daily as pain killers. Some of the common opioids include:

  • Fentanyl (a synthetic opioid)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Codine
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)

Though short-term use of opioids can be considered safe, regular and continued use can be harmful and lead to devastating consequences. Many patients have been prescribed these powerful pain killers for pain that could actually be treated by over the counter pain medication.

Facts About the Opioid Crisis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted to them.” Many people become addicted not only to the pain relief these drugs bring, but also to the “high” or feeling of euphoria many users experience when taking the drugs. Once addicted to opioids, it is extremely difficult for users to stop taking them.

Increased opioid prescription began in the late 1990s and has continued today. A study done by the CDC showed that “from 1999-2017, almost 400,000 people died from an overdose involving any opioid.” Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this fact is that in recent years deaths caused by prescription opioids have increased dramatically.

Additional facts about the opioid crisis include the following:

  • Every day, over 130 people die from opioid overdose nationwide
  • Over 11 million American report misusing prescription opioids
  • Approximately 1/3 of American adults are prescribed opioids to treat pain.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the total “economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $75.8 billion a year”—this number includes the costs of medical care, lost productivity, addiction recovery, and criminal justice costs.
Harmful Effects of Opioids

Most of the harmful effects of Opioids are well-known. Opioid use can lead to:

  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death

Even if opioid use doesn’t cause death, it can cause other side effects such as:

  • Dependence withdrawals
  • Lower pain tolerance
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Mental confusion or sleepiness
  • Itching

Many of these side effects simply fuel the cycle, forcing patients to turn again to opioids to feel relief.

Opioids Litigation and Settlement News

Because of the opioid epidemic, those affected by this crisis nationwide have united to take legal action against the makers of these drugs. Current cases argue that Pharmaceutical companies that make opioids helped cause the opioid epidemic by:

  • Using false and deceptive marketing, making these highly addictive prescription drugs appear to be an ordinary way to treat pain
  • Paying for “opioids-friendly messaging” to patients
  • Failing to warn and downplaying the addictive nature of opioids
  • Encouraging over prescribing by doctors of these drugs

The goal of this litigation is to hold these drug companies responsible for the extensive harm they caused throughout the country.

Recently, drug distributors such as McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen Corp as well as manufacturers such as Teva Pharmaceutical and Purdue Pharma (owned by the Sackler family who has also been named in some suits), have turned to settlements in the thousands of cases against them from both individuals and city and state governments. In these settlements, theses manufacturers and distributors have agreed to pay hundreds of millions up to billions of dollars for the harm they caused—money will go toward financial recovery for plaintiffs as well as addition recovery treatments and services for communities hit hard by the crisis. Many believe this still isn’t enough as these companies made billions off of their opioid sales.

Litigation will surely continue to hold these companies responsible for the harm the have caused to individuals, families and communities throughout the country. If you have experienced the devastating harm caused by the opioid crisis, you may be able to join the thousands of others pursuing mass tort litigation to recover financially for the damages and losses caused by opioids. Simply give us a call to learn more.

Talk to an Experienced Woodland Hills Opioids Injury Attorney

If you or a family member has experienced the destructive effects of opioid use, you may have a mass tort claim against the corporations that manufactured these drugs. These companies should be held accountable for the harm they caused in your life, and you should be compensated for any costs and other losses you experienced as a result of opioid use. Legal or illegal use, get in touch with us to learn more.

Mass tort litigation can be complicated—dealing with large, often times quite ruthless, drug manufacturing company can make you feel small and hopeless. However, the current settlements have fostered optimism for further settlements and given hope to current plaintiffs fighting for their deserved justice.

If you feel that you may have a claim, it is important to speak to a skilled Woodland Hills opioid injury attorney who can give you guidance and answer questions about your situation. At Walch Law, we have years of experience helping clients with mass torts and other injury claims. We can go over the specifics of your case, answer your opioid injury questions, and help determine if you have a claim for the harm opioids caused in your life. We offer a FREE case consultation to individuals or family members of individuals harmed by opioid use. You can Contact us online or at 866-INJURY2 (866-465-8792) to schedule your FREE consultation today!

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