The United States has been facing a serious epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 115 people in the U.S. die every day from an overdose of opioids.
Now, it is becoming clear that children born to parents addicted to opioids suffer severe consequences.
Class Action Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors
A class action lawsuit was filed in late February on behalf of babies born in the state of Louisiana addicted to opioids. The defendants are manufacturers and distributors of opioids, including Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, among others.
The class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a child born addicted to opioids and diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which is common in children whose mothers abuse the drugs. The child is known by the initials K.E.R.
NAS can occur in babies who had chronic exposure to substances in the womb. Once the baby is born, they no longer have the exposure, and the abrupt cessation of the substances causes NAS.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 21,700 babies were born nationwide with opioid withdrawal in 2012. Between the years 2000 and 2012, the number of children born with NAS rose fivefold.
Damages for Therapy, Related Effects Sought
K.E.R. is currently 3 years old. The child has needed speech, hearing, and behavioral therapy as a result of the long-term effects of chronic prenatal opioid exposure.
The child’s mother had been prescribed opioids, which are frequently prescribed as pain medication, to treat lower back pain caused by a vehicle accident prior to her pregnancy. She became addicted to opioids and continued to use during her pregnancy.
The class action suit seeks damages to cover long-term therapy and other treatment for K.E.R. and other babies born with NAS. The amount of damages sought are not currently known.
However, it is thought that the number of children with NAS in Louisiana is high. The suit estimates that 1 out of every 5 mothers on Medicaid, a Federal program for low-income people, took opioids during pregnancy.
Our state currently has over 1.4 million people enrolled in Medicaid.
Was Your Child Born Addicted to Opioids? Call Bart Bernard!
Opioid addiction has unfortunately touched an enormous number of lives in Louisiana. If you or a loved one has had a baby born with NAS, Bart Bernard is a seasoned Louisiana personal injury lawyer who can help.
Bart Bernard we will handle your situation with care, concern and the utmost professionalism. He is a veteran attorney with lots of experience helping clients recover damages for the life-altering side effects of dangerous prescription drugs.
Your initial consultation is free and we have offices in Baton Rouge and Lafayette for your convenience. Call today to see how much your case could be worth!
More information on lawsuits filed on behalf of infants born addicted to opioids:
- Adamson, Allan. “Lawsuit Seeks Money To Cover Treatment Of Babies Born Addicted To Opioids.” Tech Times. February 28, 2017. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/222035/20180228/lawsuit-seeks-money-to-cover-treatment-of-babies-born-addicted-to-opioids.htm
- Clark, Maria. “The family of a Louisiana infant born addicted to opioids is suing drug makers.” New Orleans Times-Picayune. February 27, 2018. http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2018/02/lawsuit_filed_to_help_cover_he.html