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Can You Sue a Syracuse Medical Professional for an Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction can have deadly consequences for a patient. If you or a loved one has been hurt or someone you love has passed away due to an opioid overdose, you may have legal rights. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers can examine your case and help you understand your rights.

There has been a lot of speculation around singer Prince’s death. Based on a criminal investigation, it is believed that Prince died as a result of overdosing on what he believed were prescription opioids such as Vicodin, but were actually the black market version of these drugs, containing the much more powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. Investigators could not figure out where Prince may have gotten these counterfeit drugs and, as a result, did not charge anyone in the death.

Prince’s family, however, recently filed a malpractice lawsuit against a hospital in Illinois that treated Prince’s first opioid overdose a week before his death. The lawsuit states that Prince’s death was a “direct and proximate cause” of the hospital failing to appropriately diagnose and treat the overdose. The lawsuit also claims that the hospital failed to investigate the cause of the overdose and provide proper counseling. In addition, the family is suing Walgreens, alleging that the pharmacy dispensed narcotic prescription medications to the pop star.

Dying from an opioid overdose is, sadly, not an uncommon thing. In fact, opioid addiction is a full-blown crisis in New York and across the United States. According to the Centers of Disease Control, opioid overdose deaths continue to rise across the country, with young people and black people seeing among the biggest rises from 2015 to 2016. In just one year, opioid overdose deaths jumped by hundreds of people in New York, which raises the question:  can you sue a doctor for your opioid addiction?

The answer is maybe. All medical professionals owe patients a duty to provide competent care. When this is not done, and a patient suffers harm, the medical professional may be liable for medical malpractice. Put another way, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes injuries or death by failing to adhere to the standard of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have followed in the same situation. When it comes to opioid addiction, a patient claiming malpractice has the burden of proving the case by the greater weight of the evidence. The patient would have to establish that another medical professional in the same specialty would not have prescribed the opioids or would not have prescribed as many opioids under the same circumstances, and that erroneous prescription was the direct cause of your addiction. These cases can be very challenging, and we would need to examine your medical history, the exact ailment for which you were treated, and a number of other factors.

If you were injured or your loved one died due to an opioid overdose, you need to reach out to a skilled Syracuse medication error lawyer as soon as possible. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we are committed to holding negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause. We can advocate for your rights throughout the entire legal process. To speak to a member of our team, call us today at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.

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