Hurt by an Opioid Addiction? Ask An Attorney About Your Legal Options

Attorney Wayne Parsons | 808-201-2277 | FREE Consult

The CDC reports that in 2017, there were 70,237 deaths from opioid overdoses. The number continues to climb as the opioid epidemic spirals out of hand.

What victims of the opioid epidemic may not know is that they might have a claim to seek damages from the drug manufacturers. Since they knew about the dangerous nature of the drug and mislead the public about it, this could constitute negligence in personal injury lawsuits.

Wayne Parsons is a personal injury attorney with Wayne Parsons Law Office in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. In this video, he explains how addicts and their families can seek justice against pharmaceutical companies.

There is no charge to speak with an attorney, and you will not owe any attorney fees if an attorney takes your case. The attorney is only paid if your case ends in your favor.

Contact Wayne Parsons by calling 808-201-2277 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

How do you define an “opioid”?

It’s a class of pharmaceutical drug that has painkilling properties. Opioids are often addictive, and they can be abused because they trigger the reward centers in the brain. They are usually prescribed to people suffering from pain, usually after surgery or during end-of-life procedures like cancer treatment.

How did it become a crisis?

Until a few decades ago, doctors had to abide by strict standards when it came to prescribing opioids. This changed with the invention of the time-release opioid oxycontin, which the pharmaceutical industry heavily promoted for patients suffering from chronic pain. Patients started using oxycontin for long periods of time. Pharmaceutical companies marketed these products to doctors as being less addictive and okay to prescribe for long-term use.

How did the drugs’ addictive qualities fuel the epidemic?

The patients prescribed drugs like oxycontin quickly became addicted to them. The doctors, seeing that the patient was addicted, would then stop prescribing it, but the patient was already addicted. The patient would have to resort to other means to find the drug or similar drugs. This could mean purchasing illegally from drug dealers or visiting multiple doctors.

Did the people who made and sold the drugs know that they were addictive?

Yes. This is the basis of the lawsuits against negligent parties on behalf of addicted patients. Various bodies have sued the pharmaceutical industry for misleading doctors about these addictive properties. As a result, people are suffering from serious harm.

Personal injury attorneys like Wayne Parsons are representing individuals who have become addicted, overdosed, lost jobs, lost child custody, and/or died as a result of opioid drug abuse. These victims can bring claims against the manufacturers for harm they caused.

Can victims of opioid addictions sue the drugmakers?

Yes. Individuals seeking claims against drug makers are in a separate legal category compared to lawsuits brought on by attorneys general. Those are about recouping public funds spent on caring for victims of addiction.

One of the companies first responsible for this epidemic is Purdue Pharma LP. Purdue and other companies are facing individual lawsuits from people hurt by addiction.

How can you prove that the drug makers and sellers were negligent?

It is the same proof that states used in their charges against the pharmaceutical company. The difference is the harm incurred in each individual case. This involves hospital bills, treatment costs, and compensation for emotional and physical harm involved with addiction.

Victims or family members of victims should find an attorney with experience handling defective product/product liability cases to seek justice. They should also understand the laws involving mass torts since this is a type of harm that involves many people. Familiarity with bankruptcy would also help since several pharmaceutical companies have filed bankruptcy in connection with these claims.

What if a loved one died from an opioid overdose? Can family members seek legal action?

Yes. Opiate addiction affects the victim’s family, friends, employers, children, parents... practically everyone in their orbit. Anyone affected by opiate addiction can contact a lawyer to find out what they can do about the devastation caused by drug addiction. From there, the lawyer can figure out if they have a valid case to bring against the drug makers for the wrongful death of a loved one.

How long does the litigation process take?

It can take years. It could be over quickly, but there’s a chance it could take a long time to resolve. Fortunately for the victims, the lawyers will be doing all the hard work, so victims and family members don’t need to be heavily involved in the process. The good news is that since so many state governments have filed lawsuits, a lot of evidence has already been uncovered.

Where do you help people?

Attorney Wayne Parsons is primarily focused on helping people in Hawaiʻi. If you are a resident of a different state, you can still contact him to get a dependable referral closer to where you live.

Remember, there is no charge to speak with an attorney, and you will not owe any attorney fees if an attorney takes your case. The attorney is only paid if your case ends in your favor.

Wayne Parsons can be reached by calling 808-201-2277 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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