Experienced Opioid Lawyers in Houston, TX
In America, tens of thousands of people die from opioid drug overdoses each year. Opioid-involved hospitalizations and death rates are staggering, affecting every corner of the country. At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we believe that prescribers and pharmaceutical companies should be held responsible for these preventable deaths and other opioid-related injuries.
If you or a loved one has been affected by the opioid crisis, contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs at (713) 999-3681 for a free consultation. Call now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced opioid lawyer that can help you understand your rights and file a lawsuit.
Since 1992, we have been fighting for injury victims, always working to obtain the maximum compensation available in their case. Based in Houston, Texas, our attorneys represent victims harmed by opioids nationwide. If you are seeking addiction help, please visit www.help.org for more information.
Harmed by Opioids? We Can Help You Bring an Opioid Lawsuit.
Too numerous are the devastating stories of families who have lost loved ones due to opioid abuse. Hidden within these stories are the unethical or unlawful actions of physicians, pharmacists, drug manufacturers, and drug distributors.
Our opioid lawyers, based in Houston, Texas, can help hold these parties accountable for their contribution to the opioid crisis and the harm it has caused. The opioid crisis has claimed far too many lives and has left millions of others addicted to a deadly substance.
In opioid litigation, we hold parties accountable for:
- Overprescribing opioids, including prescribing the wrong dosage or writing an unnecessary opioid prescription
- Prescribing the wrong kind of opioid
- Prescribing an opioid to a patient that is at higher risk of becoming addicted or overdosing
- Prescribing opioids without assessing what other medications the patient takes
- Failing to provide adequate safety and addiction warnings
- Engaging in fraudulent or deceptive marketing practices about opioids
Skilled Advocates in Opioid Litigation
If you or a loved one have been injured by opioid use, you need an attorney who knows how to stand up to pharmaceutical giants and individual prescribers.
Opioid litigation can be complex. In addition to the potential for multiple defendants, opioid lawsuits require the subpoenaing of evidence, taking witness depositions, and working with a team of medical experts.
The opioid crisis is far from over. Lawsuits continue throughout the country, as judges and juries consider the atrocities committed in the name of profits.
If you have lost a family member to an opioid drug overdose, you might be entitled to compensation. The experienced trial lawyers at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs can help you recover damages in an opioid lawsuit.
Call our office today to speak with a knowledgeable Houston opioid lawyer.
Injuries and Accidents Related to Opioid Use
Opioids are a class of drugs that can have devastating consequences when misused, improperly prescribed, or used without adequate warning about the side effects and potential for addiction.
Common injuries and accidents related to opioid use include:
- Deadly drug overdose
- Nonfatal drug overdose
- Life-threatening breathing problems
- Injuries related to falls
- Injuries related to car accidents caused by opioid use
- Increased risk for substance use disorder
- Myocardial infarction
- Fractures and broken bones
- Higher risk for suicide
Opioid Prescriptions and Overdoses
Despite the raging epidemic, opioid dispensing across the United States continues to be high. While the CDC shows that the national opioid dispensing rate declined in recent years, it is still a rate of 46.7 prescriptions per 100 persons or more than 153 million opioid prescriptions in a single year (2019).
Shockingly, in 5% of counties in the country, there were enough opioid prescriptions dispensed for every person to have one. The opioid crisis has affected every sector of the population, regardless of gender, sex, race, or wealth.
However, some states have experienced higher rates of deaths related to drug overdoses, including West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Who Is Held Liable in an Opioid Lawsuit?
Opioid lawsuits are not limited to manufacturers and distributors. Depending on the case, there may be multiple defendants that can be held liable for damages or wrongful death.
The inconceivable number of deaths related to prescription and illicit opioid use has led to action at every level of government and in countless courts across the country.
Defendants in opioid litigation can include:
- Opioid manufacturers (Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, etc.)
- Opioid distributors (McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, Miami-Luken, etc.)
- Individual physicians and other drug prescribers
- Conglomerates such as CVS, Walgreens, and others
- Company shareholders
- Policy benefit managers
Thousands of opioid lawsuits have been filed across the country against multiple defendants, including pharmaceutical giants, distributors, individual physicians, pharmacies, and more. It is imperative to consult with an experienced opioid lawyer if you suspect wrongdoing by an individual or company.
Litigation has hinged on a number of factors, including whether the defendants overprescribed opioids, manufacturers failed to adequately warn about the potential for addiction, or used deceptive and misleading advertising to promote their products.
Purdue Pharma Opioid Litigation
Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, settled multiple multi-million dollar lawsuits for aggressive, false, and misleading marketing as well as making material misrepresentations to prescribers about the drug’s addictive qualities.
Purdue has since faced civil and criminal penalties from a number of regulatory agencies, including the Department of Justice, recently agreeing to an $8 billion global resolution. The opioid manufacturer has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid the litigation.
Johnson & Johnson Opioid Litigation
Johnson & Johnson was recently required to pay over $570 million in a “landmark decision” out of Oklahoma, as reported by CNN. The judge found that the drug manufacturer engaged in “false and misleading marketing of both their drugs and opioids generally.
The Rise of the Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis began in the 1990s when pharmaceutical companies started to manufacture a new opioid-based painkiller that could be used to treat chronic pain and was allegedly safe for use and less addictive than its predecessors.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the increased prescription of natural and semi-synthetic opioids in the 1990s, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, led to the first wave of the modern opioid epidemic.
The second wave began in 2010 with a rapid hike in the number of people dying from heroin overdoses. It reached its third and current peak only a few years later with the introduction of deadly synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
Opioid Crisis Statistics
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that over 760,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose since 1999. Data suggests that in 2018 two out of three of those overdoses involved an opioid.
Notable facts about the opioid epidemic include:
- In the United States, 128 people die every day from an opioid overdose, as reported by the CDC.
- According to the most recent research available from the CDC, synthetic opioids (excluding methadone) are responsible for as many as ⅔ of all opioid-related deaths.
- The CDC reports that synthetic opioid-involved death rates (excluding methadone) increased by 10% from 2017 to 2018.
- The HHS estimates that the rate of opioid-related hospitalizations was 297 per 100,000 population.
- As recently as 2018, two million people had an opioid use disorder as indicated by the HHS.
- The CDC estimates that drug overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999.
- In 2017, a record 70,237 people died from drug overdoses; 67.8% of these overdoses involved an opioid. (CDC)
- According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), early numbers for 2020 indicate a startling increase in fentanyl use as well as an 18% spike in suspected drug overdoses.
- In the first four months of 2020 alone, data shows an 11% increase in fatal drug overdoses, as reported by the AAMC.
- Data collected by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows that from May 2019 until May 2020, there were approximately 81.230 fatal drug overdoses in the United States. The highest recorded number in a 12-month period.
- Synthetic opioids are believed to be the primary driver behind the 12-month overdose increases, with some jurisdictions reporting increases greater than 50%. (CDC)
Common Types of Opioids
Opioids are generally grouped into three categories: natural, synthetic, and semi-synthetic chemicals that can help to provide pain relief. Opioids can be prescription drugs or illegal substances such as heroin.
Forms of natural opioids, also referred to as opiates:
Common types of semi-synthetic opioids:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Leading synthetic opioids:
- Methadone (used under the direct supervision of a medical provider)
Put a Trusted Opioid Injury Lawyer on Your Side
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we believe in giving victims a voice. Our opioid lawyers in Houston will be your champion, advocating for your rights and your recovery. The opioid epidemic has devastated the nation. If you have been harmed because of opioid use, you deserve a compassionate representative that will not hesitate to hold wrongful parties accountable.
Contact our office at (713) 999-3681 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your legal options. All case evaluations are free and confidential. Call to talk with one of our award-winning, nationally recognized lawyers today. We have recovered over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
We Will Give You a Voice
We handle complex cases across the nation. Get our nationally recognized trial lawyers on your side today.