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Medication Overdose

Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C. Medication Overdose Lawyers

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Involving Drug Overdoses

Drug overdoses are a complex and evolving problem in modern America. And while many of the overdoses and deaths we hear about in the media involve illicit or counterfeit drugs obtained on the black market, they also occur frequently in medical settings, under the supervision of health care professionals, and with drugs beyond opioid narcotics.

If you or a loved one suffered an overdose caused by a medical provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Prescribing providers are subject to strict regulations when it comes to medications and are obligated to meet an acceptable standard of care when treating their patients. Departures from this standard of care that result in overdoses, brain damage, or death can provide the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Portner & Shure, P.A. is a nationally recognized trial practice that’s recovered more than $400 million in compensation for victims harmed by negligence. Backed by award-winning attorneys and more than a century of collective experience, we have the insight and resources to help victims of medication overdoses fight for the justice and compensation they deserve.

We handle medication overdose lawsuits across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. To speak with a lawyer about a potential case, (855) 954-4141 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.

How Medical Negligence Can Lead to Medication Overdose

Medical negligence is used to describe the conduct of health care providers who fail to meet accepted standards when treating patients.

Specifically, this means that a provider failed to exercise the care, skill, and knowledge in diagnosing/treating a patient that a reasonably careful provider would have provided under the same or similar circumstances.

What constitutes substandard care can be different depending on the specific facts and circumstances, including what the medication is, why it is being used, and the patient’s age, physical health, and medical history, among other factors.

Some examples of medical negligence that can lead to medication overdose and patient injuries include:

  • Overprescribing take-home medications, including opioids
  • Improper administration of medications in hospitals.
  • Use of the incorrect medication due to provider error or pharmacy error.
  • Anesthesia negligence involving the overuse of certain sedatives, analgesics, or painkillers.
  • Failure to perform an adequate patient history evaluation for drug allergies or interactions.
  • Administrative errors involving mix ups of patients, medications, or dosages.
  • Communication errors between medical staff.

At Portner & Shure, P.A., our award-winning trial team handles medication overdose cases involving all types of medical professionals and medications. This includes overdoses caused by opioids and non-opioid drugs.

Opioid Overdose Lawsuits

When it comes to the medical use of opioids, which have gained infamy for causing an epidemic of overdoses and deaths, providers are expected to comply with a variety of regulations and various standards regarding how they treat patients with these powerful drugs. When they violate these regulations or otherwise provide substandard care and patients suffer an opioid overdose as a result, victims may have grounds to hold them liable for medical malpractice.

Some examples of medical negligence that can lead to opioid overdoses include:

  • Over-prescribing opioids, including morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and others.
  • Prescribing opioids without a justifiable medical reason.
  • Failures to assess patient history / prescribing opioids to patients with known allergies or histories of abuse or previous overdose.
  • Administrative errors, such as patient/dose mix-ups, sending wrong prescriptions, or inadequate medication protocols.
  • Pharmacy / prescription errors, including filling wrong prescription or filling an improper dose.
  • Failures to advise patients on how to properly use narcotic medications.
  • Prescribing adult doses of opioids to children.

Medical negligence claims involving opioids are challenging cases that demand meticulous investigations. This includes investigating whether a physician or provider was reasonable in prescribing the opioid to a specific patient for a specific purpose, whether they adequately advised patients on how to use the drug, and more. These cases also require close collaboration with medical experts who are qualified to assess the quality of a provider’s care and whether it conformed with the applicable standards of their profession.

At Portner & Shure, P.A., our team has successfully handled medical malpractice lawsuits involving opioids, including one in which we secured a $360,000 settlement for the family of a patient who was given morphine after a gall bladder surgery and later died from an allergic reaction. Our ability to leverage this experience, as well as our connections with medical experts, allows us to position clients favorably in these complex claims.

Overdose Lawsuits Involving Other Medications

While negligence in prescribing opioids and other powerful painkillers is a common issue in overdose cases, overdoses can involve other types of medications as well. Examples of medical negligence claims involving other types of medication overuse, overdose, and prescription errors include:

  • Overuse of Pitocin during labor and delivery, resulting in birth injuries such as cerebral palsy.
  • Blood thinner/anti-coagulant overdoses resulting in internal bleeding, organ damage, or death.
  • Overdose of vasopressor medications to increase blood pressure, resulting in ischemia and other cardiovascular events.
  • Overdose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), resulting in kidney and organ damage.
  • Overdose of chemotherapy drugs.
  • Anesthesia overdoses resulting in brain damage or death.
  • Overdoses involving anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications such as alprazolam, diazepam, or lorazepam.

As with claims involving opioids, lawsuits involving non-opioid medication overdoses require plaintiffs to prove that providers negligently administered the incorrect dose of a medication, or that their negligence otherwise led to an overdose. In some cases, these lawsuits may also raise other causes of action, including claims that providers failed to identify signs of distress after administering excessive medication or failed to timely intervene and respond to an overdose.

Who Can I Sue After a Medication Overdose?

Medical malpractice lawsuits based on medication overdoses are intended to hold at-fault medical professionals and medical institutions responsible for their negligence. Depending on the facts of a case, victims may be able to bring legal action against:

  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Pain treatment specialists
  • Pain clinics
  • Hospital staff
  • Psychiatrists and other mental health providers
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Assisted living / hospice caregivers
  • Drug manufacturers

Determining who can be held liable for an overdose and resulting losses is a fact-specific task best handled by experienced attorneys. At Portner & Shure, P.A., we can discuss who may bear responsibility for your losses and the most appropriate course of action during a free and confidential consultation.

Do I Have a Case?

If you or someone you loved suffered harm because of a medication overdose while being treated by a medical professional, you may have a potential claim.

However, medical malpractice lawsuits are highly fact specific and determining whether your matter has merit requires an in-depth analysis of the facts. This includes the need to review the conduct of the providers involved in your case and whether they failed to meet their duty of care.

Generally, plaintiffs in medication overdose cases will need to prove four essential claim elements. This means proving that:

  • The defendant medical provider owed you a duty of care (i.e. there was a bona fide provider-patient relationship).
  • The provider breached their duty of care, often due to negligence.
  • The provider’s substandard care caused the medication overdose; and
  • You suffered losses as a result.

At Portner & Shure, P.A., our attorneys have the breadth of experience to handle overdose cases on behalf of individuals who suffered serious and lasting injuries, such as stroke, brain damage, and other disabilities, and families who are seeking justice for the wrongful death of a loved one.

What Damages Can I Recover?

Victims of medical negligence are entitled to a financial recovery of their damages. This can include compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and lost future income
  • Lost emotional and financial support (for families)
  • Other economic and non-economic losses

Because victims who suffer from medication overdoses are typically left with lasting disabilities, their need for full and fair compensation is elevated. At Portner & Shure, P.A., we work tirelessly to assess the scope of our clients’ losses – both financially and emotionally – to ensure that they are accurately reflected in any settlement or trial verdict we pursue.

Ultimately, claim value is dependent on the facts of a case, including the nature of the resulting injuries, their potential for ongoing losses, the age of the victim, their income, and more. As such, the best way to get a gauge on the types of damages you may be able to recover is to have your case reviewed personally by our team.

Examples of Our Results

Portner & Shure, P.A. is known for litigating complex and consequential cases against powerful corporations and insurance carriers, including medical malpractice insurers. Over our years in practice, we have secured over $400 million in verdicts and settlements, including millions of dollars in compensation for victims of medical malpractice.

Some examples of our results:

  • $2.6 million settlement in a birth injury case involving a child who was born with cerebral palsy. Our attorneys alleged that the attending hospital physician and midwife failed to adequately monitor the mother and child following a placental rupture, resulting in oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
  • $990,000 settlement for the family of a mentally disabled minor who died after he removed his restraints and breathing tube. Our team located evidence indicating that the nurse failed to adequately supervise the patient and exited the patient’s room while he was unrestrained. This case also involved a more than 75%reduction of a large Medicare lien.
  • $360,000 settlement for the family of a patient who died from an allergic reaction to morphine that was provided to him by medical staff when he was released after a gall bladder surgery.
  • $300,000 settlement in a case involving a pregnant mother who was released and sent home by hospital staff after her water broke at 31 weeks, only to present the following morning indicating no movement with the baby. Our team contended that had a sonogram been performed, the baby would have been delivered healthy.

Call For a FREE Consultation: (855) 954-4141

Medication overdoses have an overwhelming potential to cause lasting disabilities, death, and losses that change the lives of victims and families forever. As such, pursuing a successful resolution and fair compensation is of the utmost importance.

At Portner & Shure, P.A., we take pride in serving as advocates for victims who have suffered preventable losses due to the negligence of others. We’re also passionate about leveraging the experience and resources we have cultivated to help clients pursue the maximum compensation possible. If you have questions about a medication overdose lawsuit anywhere in Washington, D.C., Virginia, or Maryland, we want to help.

Portner & Shure, P.A. proudly serves victims and families throughout the DMV and handles cases on contingency, which means there’s no fee unless we win. Call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online to request a free case evaluation.


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