We’ve seen state and local governments taking a stand against the opioid industry. Numerous lawsuits have been filed to help deal with the devastating effects of the opioid crisis. However, now, those who have been personally affected can file their own claim.
Last week, the judge overseeing the bankruptcy case from Purdue Pharma set the date of June 30th to file a claim against the pharmaceutical company. Now, claims can come from hospitals, governments, and for the first time, individuals who have personal injury claims.
For years, Purdue Pharma has faced scrutiny of being a major contribution to the opioid epidemic. Since introducing their time-released version of oxycodone in 1995, known as OxyContin, they’ve faced multiple legal charges, and allegedly schemed to mislead doctors and consumers about the dangers of opioids. Last September Purdue filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Purdue recently reached an agreement with multiple state and local governments that is estimated to be worth more than $10 billion as part of it’s bankruptcy filing. However, during the hearing, the judge noted that no final settlement is in place.
While there is no guarantee that those who became addicted to opioids or their families will receive any money, the judge also emphasized that claims would be open only to those who believe they were effected by Purdue’s products – not opioids in general. However, lawyers for individuals state that people should still file claims even if they’re not sure Purdue’s drugs were involved in their injuries.
According to the Associated Press, Dede Yoder of Norwalk, Connecticut, is among those who plan to file a personal injury claim. Her son, Christopher, was prescribed a 30-day supply of painkillers, including OxyContin, during a series of surgeries when he was 13 and 14 years old.
Christopher died in 2017 at the age of 21 after multiple rehab episodes.
“I spent my whole retirement. I probably spent almost $200,000 on rehab and doctors,” she said. “I would like to get my retirement back; I’m not looking for this huge payoff.”
33-year-old Garrett Hade said he has been sober now for nearly five years after a long history of addiction that began with OxyContin as a teenager. He said he would donate any money he receives from Purdue.
Now, as an organizer with the Recovery Advocacy Project, he said he’s telling people that they will be able to make claims.
“People need to know that as a person there is some recourse out there,” said Hade, who now lives in Las Vegas.
Since 2000, prescription and illegal opioids have been attributed to 400,000 deaths in the United States.