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Warren County Kentucky Files Opioid Lawsuit

Bowling Green, KY – On Friday, January 24, 2020, Warren County Kentucky followed the many other governmental bodies which have filed lawsuits against the companies responsible for an opioid epidemic that has ravaged Warren County, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the rest of the nation.  A Complaint on behalf of Warren County was filed today in the United States Federal District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Bowling Green Division.

View full text of the Complaint Here  

Warren County Fiscal Court signed an Agreement with four law firms: Hughes and Coleman of Bowling Green, KY, Fears Nachawati of Dallas, TX, Ferrer Poirot Wansbrough of Dallas, TX, as well as the Motley Rice firm of Washington, DC, to attempt to collect damages from the companies involved in manufacturing, selling and distributing opioid drugs that has fueled the opioid addiction crisis.

The reason for the lawsuit is simple; the collective actions of the defendants have resulted in a huge financial burden on Warren County, Kentucky, and its citizens, in the form of increased law enforcement costs, healthcare costs, and various other public expenses. The lawsuit names as defendants 29 companies which have each contributed to this healthcare crisis. Some of the defendants are manufacturers of opioids. Other defendants are involved in the distribution and marketing of opioids. Some defendants are the owners of the pharmacies which sell these opioids. Collectively, these defendants are responsible for the marketing and sale of excessive amounts of opioids, and for the resulting opioid epidemic and crisis.

What caused this crisis? The answer, which should not surprise anyone, is money and greed. Defendants in this case have made huge profits from the sale and marketing of opioids. Those huge profits were only possible because such a huge number of people became addicted to opioids. Defendants in this case created and caused this epidemic. They systematically downplayed the danger of opioid addiction. They participated in, and often funded, the spread of misinformation about the dangers of opioids.  Their various schemes and practices are explained in the Complaint. Interested parties should read the entire complaint.

As of January 24, 2020, 61 Counties in Kentucky have filed Opioid lawsuits.  If you are in a County that has not filed a lawsuit, contact Hughes & Coleman®  for more information.

Opioids: Powerful, Addictive, and Dangerous

The Center for Disease Control reports that recent years have seen more than 50 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 Americans. Despite the addictive nature of opioids and the potential fatalities resulting from overdoses, these drugs are frequently prescribed as part of pain management therapy. This practice has caused a dramatic increase in the drug’s availability and plays a significant role in America’s opioid crisis.

Beyond the numbers, though, are real people suffering real pain. Opioid addiction and its consequences bring indescribable anguish to individuals and families across the country. If you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, how can you break the cycle of dependency? When left with a choice between pain or addiction, you may feel as though you’ve run out of options.

Millions of Americans are prescribed opioids every year, and not without reason. People suffer crippling pain due to any number of causes, but finding relief can help them get on with their lives. That’s where opioids come in.

Opioids are a class of drugs that are found in certain painkillers, including OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine. Illegal substances, such as heroin and fentanyl, also fall into this category. When used as prescribed by your doctor, opioids have the potential to be powerful, effective pain relievers that can help treat injury-related pain, post-surgery discomfort, and chronic pain emerging from long-standing health conditions.

How opioids work

Opioids are effective because they act quickly to alter the user’s perception of certain sensations. Interacting with brain cells, opioids cause the cells to release signals that muffle your perception of pain and boost your feelings of pleasure. However, these drugs are truly a double-edged sword; the very features that make opioids an asset also make them a dangerous liability.

Opioids pose risks based on the following physical effects they have:

  • Triggering nanobody signaling within nerve cells: In addition to the expected effect of activating nerve cell receptors, synthetic opioids (such as those used in many prescription drugs) also induce nanobody signaling inside nerve cell receptors within tens of seconds. Scientists believe that this undesired effect is what causes opioids to be so addictive so quickly.
  • Increasing risk of addiction over time: Opioid painkillers are notorious for their addictivity. In fact, experts say that the likelihood of addiction rises dramatically after just five days of prescription opioid use. Coupled with complex cellular interactions is the addictive nature of the feeling of pleasure that the medication elicits. Users may seek to search for that same feeling again, even in the absence of pain. Their road to recovery then amounts to a struggle to overcome the effects of changes in the brain caused by the drug.
  • Altering physiological functions: High doses of opioids can depress the body’s natural reflexes to rescue itself. Opioids slow the heart rate and passive breathing. Voluntary breathing is also inhibited, as is the body’s ability to remove excess carbon dioxide. The net result can be fatal.

How to reduce the danger of addiction

Prevention is the best medicine, which is certainly the case when it comes to addictive substances.

Adhering to the following guidelines from the Mayo Clinic can help keep you and your family members safe:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully: Use your medication exactly as indicated.
  • Ensure that your healthcare provider is aware of any other medication and supplements you’re taking.
  • Use medication that has been prescribed to you and nothing else: Many people who fall into the vicious cycle of opioid addiction begin by using drugs that were not prescribed to them, sourcing the drugs from a family member or friend in an attempt to self-medicate.
  • Schedule regular checkups while you’re using opioids: If your doctor doesn’t ask you to come back for a follow-up within the first month of starting opioid therapy, take the initiative to ask for a follow-up appointment; your doctor can then evaluate both the benefits and risks of your medication.
  • Get It Done.


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You’ve Suffered Long Enough—Now What?

If you or someone close to you has already experienced the pain of addiction, you may be at a loss as to what to do next. Worse yet, if you’ve had to endure the death of a family member at the hands of opioid addiction, you want to make sure that justice is served and others don’t have to suffer the same hardship—but how can this be achieved?

Doctors and pharmacists can be held accountable where negligence is indicated. In some cases, doctors have been found to overprescribe opioids or to continue prescribing them to patients that have shown signs of addiction. In light of these dangerous and avoidable practices, an increasing number of healthcare professionals are being called to account for not adhering to the guidelines designed to mitigate the risk of opioid addiction.

If you feel that you or your loved one was overprescribed opioids, or that you have shown clear signs of addiction and the doctor didn’t intervene effectively or with the expediency the situation warranted, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Compensation you could receive

In addition to the emotional and medical toll of opioid addiction, significant financial costs can be incurred. These expenses can be crippling.

Hughes & Coleman can help you receive compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Drug rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages due to addiction-related issues
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Funeral costs

The challenge of proving liability

While some attorneys general and advocates suggest that pharmaceutical companies should be forced to answer for their role in the opioid crisis, proving liability can be challenging.

If individuals are using drugs that weren’t prescribed to them or obtaining pills illegally, it can be difficult to assign blame to another party. Meanwhile, proving that an FDA-approved prescription drug is defective and dangerous presents another obstacle.

Pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets and costly legal teams that are good at their jobs. Producing and releasing medicine for public usage has inherent risks, and the industry has learned to protect itself against inevitable lawsuits.

These companies often shift blame onto consumers, insisting that the victims themselves were at fault for not using the drugs as directed. While patients hold a measure of responsibility to adhere to the warnings, promoting dangerous products without disclosing their health hazards is unethical. This is a wrong that should not be allowed to go on uncorrected.

In view of the obstacles, confronting large pharmaceutical companies can be intimidating, but you don’t have to go up against them alone. Many of those who have suffered from the use of opioids have teamed up with personal injury law firms that understand the complexities involved.

Our Team is Ready to Give You the Help You Need

Have you lost a family member to prescription opioid addiction? Are you or one of your family members suffering from its painful effects?

The Hughes & Coleman team is eager to help you get the justice you deserve. You have a story that needs to be heard, and we are standing by to hear how you’ve personally been affected. We understand the opioid crisis and its contributing factors, and we’ll work hard to level the playing field when it comes to taking on the drug industry.

Get relief from painful addiction without getting frustrated by law firms that don’t listen. Call us at 800-800-4600 anytime, fill out the form below, or visit one of our offices to get your free case evaluation started today.

Get In Touch Today!

We offer free consultations 24/7 and there will always be someone here to take your call. Call our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation or fill out this form and we will contact you.

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