Opioid Makers, Distributors Sued for Problems with Newborns Class Action

The plaintiffs in this case are two babies, Baby AM and Baby RH, who were born dependent on opioids. The complaint says, “The first days of Baby Plaintiffs’ lives were spent in excruciating pain as doctors weaned the infants from opioid addiction.” This class action brings suit against a long list of pharmaceutical makers, and marketers, and distributors who had a hand in “flood[ing] the market with highly addictive, dangerous opioids, whether through the primary prescription market … [or] the secondary market.”

The mothers of the babies in this case had been taking opioids, including one or more of the following:

  • Purdue’s products Oxycontin, Dilaudid, and MS Contin
  • Cephalon’s products Actiq and Fentora
  • Janssen’s product Duragesic
  • Endo’s products Percodan, Percocet, Opana, Opana ER, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone (Vicodin and Lortab), Oxymorphone, and Hydromorphone
  • Actavis’ products Norco and Kadian

The babies were born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) when they were born, due to their mothers’ dependence or addiction.

The complaint alleges that the defendants in the case “purported to accurately present the benefits and risks associated with the use of prescription opioid drugs.” It also claims that they made and sold prescription drugs “without fulfilling their legal duty to prevent diversion and report suspicious orders. But for the dereliction of this legal duty, the robust secondary market for opioids could not have existed.”

In earlier times, the complaint says, [d]ue to the lack of evidence that opioids improved patients’ ability to overcome pain and function, coupled with evidence of greater paint complaints as patients developed tolerance to opioids over time and the serious risk of addition and other side effects, the use of opioids for chronic pain was discouraged or prohibited.”

An unattributed quotation in the complaint says, “The logic was simple: While the number of cancer patients was not likely to increase drastically from one year to the next, if a company could expand the indications for use of a particular drug, then it could boost sales exponentially without any real change in the country’s health demography.” However, to increase their profits, the complaint alleges, the opioid companies underplayed the risks and dangers of opioid use.

According to the complaint, the pharmaceutical defendants in this case “were the architects of the transition from a limited market pool of disease and injury … to widespread use to treat an ever-expanding pool of common, non-life threatening[] maladies and conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, and joint pain.” They not only expanded the group of people to whom opioids were given, they also “promoted the notion that there were no dose limits” so that addicted patients would be given more and more.

All this also ended up enlarging the secondary market, as more and more people became addicted.

Oddly, although this is labeled and presented as a class action, the complaint includes no definition of the class. The counts are all individual and include negligence and civil conspiracy and ask for punitive damages.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: medical

Most Recent Case Event

Opioid Makers, Distributors Sued for Problems with Newborns Complaint

August 5, 2020

The plaintiffs in this case are two babies, Baby AM and Baby RH, who were born dependent on opioids. The complaint says, “The first days of Baby Plaintiffs’ lives were spent in excruciating pain as doctors weaned the infants from opioid addiction.” This class action brings suit against a long list of pharmaceutical makers, and marketers, and distributors who had a hand in “flood[ing] the market with highly addictive, dangerous opioids, whether through the primary prescription market … [or] the secondary market.”

Opioid Makers, Distributors Sued for Problems with Newborns Complaint

Case Event History

Opioid Makers, Distributors Sued for Problems with Newborns Complaint

August 5, 2020

The plaintiffs in this case are two babies, Baby AM and Baby RH, who were born dependent on opioids. The complaint says, “The first days of Baby Plaintiffs’ lives were spent in excruciating pain as doctors weaned the infants from opioid addiction.” This class action brings suit against a long list of pharmaceutical makers, and marketers, and distributors who had a hand in “flood[ing] the market with highly addictive, dangerous opioids, whether through the primary prescription market … [or] the secondary market.”

Opioid Makers, Distributors Sued for Problems with Newborns Complaint
Tags: Babies Born Addicted, Opioids, Pharmaceuticals