Mother’s lawsuit against doctor, pain clinic alleges daughter’s death caused by painkillers

by Michael Heygood

The mother of an Oregon woman who died from drug toxicity is seeking almost $2 million in damages from a doctor and pain management clinic, according to The Register Guard. The mother’s lawsuit accuses the doctor of prescribing the daughter too many painkillers to her daughter, who died in April 2011 at age 29.

The suit claims the doctor was negligent in prescribing the young woman “dangerous doses” of addictive opiate drugs that he should have known could interact dangerously with other drugs that the patient had been prescribed. The lawsuit also claims the doctor was negligent in failing to realize the woman had become addicted to the opiate medication.

The doctor is accused in the suit of putting his own financial interest ahead of his patient’s well-being by “actively promoting his patient’s drug dependence in order to increase his profits,” according to the newspaper. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for physical and mental suffering the young woman endured as a result of becoming addicted to the drugs, damages for the loss of income she would have earned over her remaining lifetime and damages suffered by her husband due to his wife’s death.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson fighting the pain pill industry

Even when used as prescribed, opioid painkillers can cause serious and potentially deadly complications. Because painkillers can lower a patient’s breathing rate, opioid users may be at risk of developing repository depression. Some of these patients may fall into respiratory arrest, which can be fatal if not treated quickly

More people die from prescription drug overdoses each year than from heroin and cocaine combined. Part of the problem arises from prescription medications being obtained illegally—such as when pharmacies are robbed or teens steal drugs from their parents. However, another very significant part of the problem—that is not being adequately addressed—is the alarming number of deaths due to overdose on medications that were prescribed for the deceased by their doctors.

Patients who die from overdoses of drugs which have been prescribed for them most often overdose on prescription opioid painkillers. Some of the most commonly used prescription painkillers include:

  • Vicodin (sold generically under the name hydrocodone)
  • OxyContin (sold generically as oxycodone)
  • Dilaudid (sold generically under the name Hydromorphone)
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl pain patch (sold generically under the brand names Sandoz, Watson and Mylan).

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have spent years holding drug companies and negligent prescribing doctors responsible for the injuries and deaths caused by their reckless conduct. When it comes to fighting the makers of prescription painkillers and pursuing the negligent doctors that hand them out, very few lawyers can claim anything close to the considerable experience or success of Heygood, Orr & Pearson.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson is among the nation’s leading law firms in handling cases involving potent opioids, and our law firm has the experience to prosecute medical malpractice lawsuits involving a wide array of serious opioid painkillers. To receive a free legal consultation and find out if you are eligible to file a case, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on this page.

by Michael Heygood

Michael Heygood is a licensed attorney and partner at HO&P who focuses on insurance and corporate litigation, and other civil arenas. Michael has been named multiple times to the Super Lawyers List.