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Should Your Firm Be Suing Opioid Drug Makers?

By George Khoury, Esq. on July 27, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Being a lawyer can sometimes be really rewarding. Not only can you help people in their time of need, but you get to make a living doing so. 

Despite the tinge of conscience, where there's potential to recover for your clients, there's potential for real profits for your firm. The new cases that are being filed against Opioid makers on behalf of individuals, tribal nations, and even counties and whole states, are being compared to the cases filed against big tobacco.

Similarities Between Big Opioid and Big Tobacco Cases

In the cases being filed against big pharma due to the opioid crisis's disastrous effects on discrete populations, there is one strikingly similar allegation to the big tobacco cases: the manufacturers knew about the addictive qualities and ignored the dangers for the sake of profits. Another similarity: the lawyers bringing the cases are coordinating and communicating, sharing insights, strategies, and potentially even evidence.

Opioid Addiction Is a Real Big Problem

Opiates have become such a pervasive problem that if an individual becomes addicted, their doctor could potentially be held liable, especially if the victim has a history of addiction, or drug abuse. While proving that a doctor was negligent in providing an opiate prescription may be a difficult task, excessive refills without follow-ups could be a sign of negligence. Additionally, claims against the manufacturer won't necessarily require a doctor to be found liable.

In the current climate of opioid makers being sued by states and counties, individual claims can still potentially be lucrative. Studying the current cases could provide valuable insight into creative claims that could lead to individual relief.

Is It Time to Get in the Fight?

For lawyers looking to do their part to fight back against the drug makers, finding the right clients might not be as difficult as you would expect. According to the CDC, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each day due to opioid misuse, and nearly 25 percent of those prescribed an opioid for non-cancer related pain struggle with addiction. As a frame of reference, about 7,000 people end up in the ER each day due to auto accidents, but as many lawyers are well aware, there's an abundance of car accident cases to go around.

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