Newborn Opioid Withdrawal (NAS) Lawsuit
If your child was diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or opioid withdrawal at birth, contact FrancoLaw today. You might be entitled to compensation.
Our firm currently represents hundreds of parents and their children who were exposed to opioids in utero and diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (“NAS”). NAS is a group of conditions caused when a baby withdraws from certain drugs he/she is exposed to in the womb before birth. Opioids include drugs like fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, suboxone, and others and are often sold under brand names like OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Demerol, and a host of other names. When an expectant mother takes these medications during pregnancy, they can pass through the placenta and cause serious problems for a newborn baby.
Opioid prescriptions have nearly quadrupled in the last 20 years, spurring the current opioid epidemic which has raged across our country and devastated the lives of countless families and communities. By recent estimates, an opioid-addicted baby is born in the U.S. every 19 minutes – many newborns facing drug withdrawal symptoms and potential developmental problems every day. Many lay the responsibility on drug makers and distributors, who knowingly downplayed the risk of physical dependency on opioid painkillers. Several pharmaceutical companies have already been punished for deceptive and illegal marketing practices of drugs like OxyContin, which like other opiates, can be a gateway for heroin. The consequences of NAS can be severe and lead to lifelong complications. The cost of medical treatment can become a significant expense resulting in financial strain. You and your baby should not have to endure this type of trauma.
Common Symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
There is vast information regarding the repercussions of opioid-abuse in adults, but comparatively little is known about the long-term impact of opioid withdrawal in infants. The symptoms of NAS may begin just hours after birth or develop over the following days. The hallmark symptoms often include:
- Relentless crying
- Mottled skin
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty sleeting
Babies who are born with opiates in their system may be given morphine drops, sedatives or methadone to sooth and stop the symptoms of NAS and usually require lengthy and costly treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU, to obtain the appropriate round-the-clock medical care. The long-term impact of NAS is not fully yet understood, but anecdotal evidence and preliminary research indicates the condition can lead to:
- Developmental growth delays
- Behavioral and cognitive problems
- Development of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Vision and hearing impairment
- Motor development problems
The National Opioid Litigation
More than 2000 opioid lawsuits against drug makers and distributors are currently pending before Judge Dan Aaron Polster in the Northern District of Ohio. In theory, consolidating these cases will reduce costs and improve efficiency, but the massive opioid litigation is exceedingly complex with numerous defendants and a diverse group of plaintiffs, including states, cities, Native American tribes, hospitals, insurance companies, adults and parents of children diagnosed with NAS. Plaintiffs in these cases allege that opioid drug makers misrepresented the addiction risks of long-term use and distributors failed to screen suspicious orders of these painkillers, contributing to America’s opioid crisis. Several trials are currently underway in federal and state courts against various drug makers, distributors, and pharmacies to determine their role and liability in fueling the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history.
Drug companies have a duty to warn the public and the medical community about the possibility of drug side effects, risks and the potential for addiction. Big Pharma stands accused of fueling the deadly opioid epidemic and utilizing deceptive marketing practices to peddle their drugs to millions of Americans.
Some of the opioid manufacturers facing litigation include:
- Purdue Pharma
- Johnson & Johnson
- Endo International
- Teva Pharmaceutical
- Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals
Drug companies like Purdue Pharma who manufacture, market, and sell OxyContin have been accused of misleading the public about the dangers associated with the long-term use of these drugs to treat chronic and severe pain. These drug makers advertised their products as being less addictive than they actually are. They lied about the addictive nature of opioids and aggressively promoted physicians to prescribe them in excessive quantities. Prescribing these drugs in high doses and for prolonged periods of time can lead to addiction and other devastating injuries. These include, among other adverse side effects, dependence, the craving to seek more drugs, use of other legal pain killers, use of other illegal drugs, and worst of all, overdose and death.
Who Is Eligible to File a Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one became addicted to prescription opioids, used opioids before or during pregnancy and had a child born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), you may qualify for a NAS lawsuit. Our firm currently represent hundreds of parents and their children who were exposed to opioids in utero and diagnosed with NAS at birth.
At FrancoLaw, we can review the circumstances associated with your situation to determine whether you and your child have a case. You should not try to seek compensation from the negligent manufacturer on your own. The opioid litigation is exceedingly complex with two major drug companies, Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt, filing for bankruptcy. In addition to participating in the National Opioid Litigation pending in federal court, we are actively involved in these bankruptcy proceedings pending in New York and Delaware.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one became addicted to prescription opioids, used opioids before or during pregnancy and had a child born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), you may be eligible to file a NAS lawsuit. You can discuss your case with us during a free consultation and receive the legal advice you need to make an informed decision about what to do next. Let us fight for you to hold the opioid manufacturers accountable for your child’s injuries and recover the compensation you deserve. Our firm is experienced in handling injury cases and we welcome any questions you may have. Call us now at (888) 213-0761 for a free consultation.