As with other types of addictions, an opioid addiction may leave an impact beyond the person who is addicted. This is typically true when the addict is a pregnant mother. Babies born to mothers who are addicted to opioids or who are prescribed other medications to help with their addiction are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). These babies suffer a myriad of health complications as a result of NAS and but social services may place them in the care of other family members.
If you are caring for an infant suffering from the effects of NAS, you may have options. A seasoned Ohio opioid NAS lawyer could provide advice on what compensation may be available for your damages. By working with a dedicated attorney, you could work towards the best possible future for the child in your care.
The Symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Babies born to mothers who abused opioids while pregnant may have a rough start in life or have problems that could affect them for many years to come. These problems may include:
- Impaired motor and cognitive skills
- Behavioral issues
- Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS)
- Memory and perception problems
- Neural tube defects (Spina Bifida)
- Premature birth
These problems could fall on family member left to care for the infant and child as they grow. Doctors have found that the longer an expectant mother abuses opiates while pregnant and the later in her pregnancy she takes these drugs, the more severe the effects may be. Since not every case of NAS is the same, it may be important to speak with an Ohio opioid NAS lawyer who could help a family navigate the specifics of their opioid NAS case.
Who is Liable for Opioid Dependence in Infants?
A legal liability could make some individuals and entities responsible for any damages suffered by the infant.
An opioid NAS lawyer in Ohio could file a suit against prescribing doctors, drug companies, and drug distributors in Ohio for the opioid addiction damages they ultimately contributed to or caused.
All of these parties may be liable for their recklessness or negligence. They had a duty to the patients they served, and ultimately their families, which they breached. This breach causes injuries and damages to NAS babies and their guardians that they may be held liable for.
Ohio NAS Cases are Time Sensitive
An attorney may file suit on behalf of the caretakers and children impacted by NAS. With proper legal representation, a guardian may sue on behalf of a child if they were addicted to opioids when they were born. The child in certain cases may also be able to wait until they are no longer a minor to file a lawsuit.
As per Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10 (A), the statute of limitations that applies to a person of legal age is one year from the date of action under medical liability or two years under product liability. If the plaintiff is a minor, Ohio Rev.
Code § 2305.16 applies, giving them two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file the claim.
Those who are interested in filing suit should check with an experienced lawyer about how the statute of limitations applies in their specific case. Not filing within the mandated time limits could preclude plaintiffs from ever recovering financial compensation for their damages.
How an Ohio Opioid NAS Attorney Could Help
Caring for a baby born with NAS is a large commitment of time, money, and is an emotional investment. When families take over the care of these infants, they may no longer be given the government financial assistance that the state reserves for foster parents. This could send already struggling grandparents into a financial downward spiral.
A qualified Ohio opioid NAS lawyer could help you and your family seek the compensation that you may be entitled to under the law. Reach out today for a case evaluation.