Thousands of cases have already been filed against some of the largest opioid manufacturers in the U.S. A lot of these cases have been filed by city and county government. The goal of this litigation isn’t really to collect damages from the defendants. The goal is to have them be ordered to pay millions of dollars into a fund that will help treat opiate addicts.
The most recent litigation is being filed by hospitals that are tired of spending resources they don’t have to treat uninsured opioid addicts. In 2012, hospitals in the U.S. spent over $15 billion treating these patients for overdoses and other medical issues caused by addiction.
The concern for some hospitals is that they’re afraid it could backfire on them. If litigation gets to the point of the trial, the plaintiffs could be forced to reveal information about their relationships with opioid manufacturers. It could also bring about the negative press for these hospitals.
The defendants claim that the hospitals are just as guilty as they are when it comes to the opioid epidemic. They argue that hospitals overprescribed pain medications to patients and continue to do so. This could open up the possibility of litigation being filed against the hospitals.
As with the lawsuits being filed by thousands of people across the country, these plaintiffs aren’t looking for simple damages. They’re looking for the opiate manufacturers and distributors to start covering some of the treatment expenses that are currently being borne by the hospitals.
It will be interesting to see how these cases play out. Some of the cases in Ohio have already been settled. It would be surprising if these cases didn’t end up heading in the same direction.
If you or your loved one have been affected by the opioid epidemic, call our office right away.