Opioids are highly addictive and can even cause untoward effects for babies born to mothers who are taking opioids. The collateral damage does not stop there. Grandparents or other family caretakers are often the ones who end up with custody and must cope with the effects the opioids had on the mother and infant.
If you or someone you know is impacted by the use and addiction to opioid painkillers, you know the serious and far-reaching consequences addiction can cause. You may be owed compensation from the prescribing doctor or even the drug manufacturer. Speaking with a qualified attorney who can bring an Ohio opioid case is the first step in seeking justice for yourself or a loved one.
Grandparents and family members who are left to care for opioid-dependent babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) may be able to file an opioid case. These caretakers often face the stress of caring for an infant with many physical and mental challenges. Because of the extra care and challenges this condition requires, families in this situation may also be financially and emotionally burdened.
Expenses related to caring for a child born with NAS can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. Making financial matters worse, grandparents and family caretakers are often cut off from financial support from public assistance since they are not technically foster parents.
Stressors for grandparents reach further than just their financial situations. Babies with NAS frequently suffer from irritability, convulsions, excessive crying, and difficulty eating or sleeping. Additionally, they may grow up with speech or learning delays, behavioral problems, as well as other medical issues that require an investment of time and money to help correct. In the worst-case scenarios, these children may have irreversible conditions such as spina bifida or microcephaly.
Once someone decides to file an opioid case, their first step should be to consult an experienced attorney. The attorney could file their case for them in civil court and may even send a demand letter to the defendant(s). Evidence such as medical records and bills for the baby and the mother will generally be used in the case to show the damages the plaintiff suffered.
Sometimes cases are settled with a mutually agreeable sum. If both parties cannot agree on a fair settlement, the case will proceed to trial with a judge or a jury. For help understanding who can bring an Ohio opioid case, it may be beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable attorney.
Unlike other states, Ohio does not place caps on the economic damages such as medical expenses or lost wages that these families can receive as per Ohio Code § 2323.43. Therefore, families should be comfortable knowing that, with a comprehensive claim, they may be able to recover all the costs associated with the child’s care.
Plaintiffs should be aware that non-economic damages, such as mental anguish, are capped at $250,000 or three times the amount awarded in economic damages. Speaking with an established lawyer could help potential plaintiffs understand what compensation may be available and build a comprehensive claim that considers all of their losses.
People of all ages and stages of life have been impacted by the careless over-prescribing of opioid medications, even newborn babies and their caretakers. These innocent victims and their families face a potentially difficult life ahead.
A settlement or jury award will by no means fix their problems, but it could help make life more manageable and less stressful for those who have stepped in to care for them. If you are wondering who can bring an Ohio opioid case on your behalf or on behalf of a loved one, contact a knowledgeable attorney to learn about your legal rights and options today.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC