Opioid Lawsuits – Painkiller Lawyers & Drug Settlements

Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid drug which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, was the cause of 44 overdose deaths in 2016. A lawsuit brought by several plaintiffs against manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals on behalf of victims and their families seeks damages for “negligent design” that has led to other deadly drugs like Vicodin causing overdoses when mixed with Fentanyl.

Opioid Lawsuits - Painkiller   Lawyers & Drug Settlements

(This page was last updated on January 5, 2018)

The amount of prescription opioids sold in the United States has almost doubled since 1999. Prescription opioid overdose fatalities have more than doubled in the same time span.

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in West Virginia against doctors, pharmacists, and drug distributors who may have caused or contributed to opioid addiction.

West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the US, with 35 deaths per 100,000 people. It is located in the middle of coal country and has the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate (after Alaska). This is a pain-inducing recipe.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that scores of lawsuits have been filed in West Virginia against doctors, pharmacists, and drug distributors. These cases allege that physicians, drug firms, and “pill mills” took advantage of patients, causing them to get addicted to drugs and costing people and the state millions of dollars.


Unjust Enrichment is the subject of many lawsuits.

McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen Drug Co. are the targets of a separate action brought by McDowell County, West Virginia, with our lawyers. More over half of West Virginia’s opioids were provided by these three corporations.

The case accuses defendants of “negligence, state code offenses, and unfair enrichment.” It says that these businesses depleted McDowell County’s coffers in addition to promoting “addiction and ruin,” stating:

Defendants have caused and will continue to cause McDowell County to spend significant amounts of public money to deal with the serious consequences of the opioid epidemic, which was fueled by defendants’ illegal, reckless, and malicious actions in flooding the state with highly addictive prescription medications with no regard for the consequences to McDowell County or its residents.

“McDowell County was once a prosperous community, but drug addictions have wrecked lives, split up families, and created a huge rise in crime, addiction-related social and health difficulties, overdose, and even death,” said attorney John Yanchunis.

The drug overdose death rate in McDowell County is over three times greater than West Virginia’s, which is the highest in the US.

Drug overdose deaths in McDowell County are almost three times higher than in West Virginia.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia was swamped with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone tablets during a six-year span. According to the McDowell complaint, the defendants were responsible for the bulk of the pills, totaling over 423 million.

According to the complaint, the defendants gave medications to 1.8 million individuals between 2007 and 2012, collecting more than $17 billion in revenue.


Addictions were allegedly caused by physicians and pharmacies, according to lawsuits.

Meanwhile, hundreds more landmark cases filed in West Virginia claim that “a virtual rogue’s gallery of pill-pushing physicians and pharmacies” caused or contributed to the plaintiffs’ (or their loved ones’) drug addictions.

Some plaintiffs are bringing claims on behalf of loved ones who died as a result of an opioid overdose.

According to the allegations, the doctors and pharmacies in issue induced the plaintiffs to misuse the opioids and even engage in criminal behavior to get them by prescribing and distributing them. As a consequence of their addictions, many individuals have lost their employment or salaries.

Some plaintiffs are bringing claims on behalf of loved ones who died as a result of an opioid overdose.

The 29 lawsuits name three pharmacies (Tug Valley Pharmacy, Strosnider Drug Store, and B&K Pharmacies at Mountain Medical Center) as defendants, as well as four Mountain Medical Center physicians (Katherine Hoover, William Ryckman, Diane Shafer, and Victorino Teleron).


Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are examples of pain relievers.

Drugs that bind to opioid receptors to block or lessen pain are known as opioid narcotics. Patients who have just had surgery or who have suffered physical trauma, such as a car accident or a significant sports injury, are often given them.

The following are the most regularly prescribed opioids:

  • Oxycodone is a pain reliever (brand names: OxyContin, Roxicodone, Oxecta)
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

Heroin has a comparable impact to the medications mentioned above, despite the fact that physicians no longer prescribe it. When the government eventually tightened down on opiate prescriptions, many individuals who had gotten hooked to them turned to heroin to get the same high—often fatally.

The Lawsuits Against Opioids Are Revolutionary

These opioid cases have no precedence, but it doesn’t make them any less justified. Wilbert Hatcher’s case was recently challenged by a defense counsel, who asked the West Virginia Supreme Court if plaintiffs who acknowledged to engaging in illegal action to get and consume narcotics had the right to sue. Chief Justice Margaret Workman wrote in the majority opinion that the case should be upheld:

This court believes that our comparative negligence system is the best legally sound and well-reasoned way to deal with a plaintiff who has participated in immoral or criminal behavior.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has also backed the case, claiming that prescription opioids are distributed “like M&Ms” in his own state.

Compensation for Opioid Lawsuits

On behalf of McDowell County, our complaint seeks the following damages:

  • Expenses for drug treatment programs have risen.
  • Hospitalizations and medical treatment
  • Medical transport in an emergency
  • Costs of responding to/investigating crimes by law enforcement
  • Prosecution and imprisonment costs
  • Repair costs for property damage

Meanwhile, Wilbert Hatcher and the other 28 plaintiffs in the complaint are seeking damages for the following:

  • Medical expenditures, including money spent on the prescription medications in issue (sometimes in the hundreds of dollars).
  • Expenses associated with drug treatment programs
  • Wages that have been lost
  • Suffering and pain
  • Expenses for the funeral (if they lost a loved one to overdose)
  • Any further remedies that the Court deems reasonable and appropriate



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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is being sued for the opioid crisis?

A: This is a difficult question to answer.

Is it too late to file a claim against Purdue Pharma?

A: It is not too late to file a claim. However, it will be difficult for you to get your money back or sue Purdue Pharma in court because the statute of limitations has passed on most claims and legal proceedings.

What is an example of an illegal opioid?

A: Opioids are drugs that bind to opioid receptors and activate the release of natural substances called endorphins. They can be used for pain relief, but their potential for addiction is what makes them illegal.