Lawsuit alleges doctor was negligent in prescribing oxycodone

by Eric Pearson

An Oregon woman has filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against her former doctor, alleging she became addicted to the painkiller oxycodone after she was prescribed thousands of pills. 49-year-old Ann Raffaele filed the suit in Multnomah County against Milwaukee doctor Edward Goering.

The lawsuit alleges that she suffered from chronic pain and, from 2010 to 2012, her doctor prescribed a total of 19,000 oxycodone pills — an average of 26 pills a day. The suit claims that the painkiller caused her to suffer headaches, nausea, lost vision, lost teeth and numbness in her hands. According to an investigation by the Oregon Medical Board, the doctor only once spoke to the patient by phone during an eight-month period. The suit claims the doctor was negligent for continuing to supply Raffaele with the powerful painkiller without questioning her frequent requests for early refills and without seeing her regularly.

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses and Medical Malpractice

When doctors overprescribe prescription painkillers to their patients, the results can be deadly. As the recently-filed complaint in the Oregon lawsuit illustrates, the improper prescription of pain medications can place patients at risk of addiction and dependence. In other cases, doctors may prescribe opioid medications that are too powerful or in combination with other drugs that decrease the activity of the central nervous system, increasing the risk of an overdose.

Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about the danger of opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl and methadone, doctors continue to prescribe these drugs in ways that put the health and the lives of their patients at risk. Prescription drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., killing tens of thousands of patients each year.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a prescription painkiller overdose, the doctor or hospital who prescribed these medications may be to blame. Patients whose lives have been affected by a painkiller overdose, addiction, or other complications caused by the reckless prescription of these drugs by a physician may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for their injuries.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented hundreds of patients who have been harmed by opioid painkillers or other dangerous prescription drugs. Our law firm has the experience to prosecute medical malpractice cases involving a wide array of serious opioid painkillers, including Vicodin, hydrocodone, OxyContin, oxycodone, methadone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, and others. Our attorneys have tried hundreds of cases to verdict, achieving verdicts and settlements for our clients totaling more than $200 million—including more than $50 million in 2010 alone.

For a free legal consultation and to find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit, contact our law firm by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.