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If you missed out on the first round of payments, you may still be eligible for a share of a landmark $59 million settlement.

In 2019, and again in 2020, the Federal Trade Commission sued Indivior, Suboxone’s manufacturer, alleging that the company steered recovering opioid addicts from cheaper generic buprenorphine to pricey brand-name Suboxone. In May 2021, shortly after a judge approved a settlement, the FTC started sending payments to eligible recovering addicts. As of October 2022, about $500,000 remained in the settlement fund. So, if you were originally on the waiting list, or even if you didn’t file a claim, you may be entitled to compensation.

Indivor has a history of such misconduct, at least according to some. The company released its first Suboxone product, a pill, in 2002, when it was still a division of pharma giant Reckitt Benckiser. When that patent expired, the company started making Suboxone films. When that patent expired, the company started making Suboxone shots.

Large-Scale Opioid Litigation

A tragedy the scale of the opioid addiction epidemic is tailor made for large-scale litigation. Indivior, Reckitt Benckiser, Purdue Pharma, and other heavy-hitters have immense resources. Unless victims pool their resources, high-priced lawyers quash these legal actions, and nothing changes.

Purdue Pharma, which many people accuse of starting the opioid epidemic, will most likely create a huge victim compensation fund as a condition of ist bankruptcy. The company, and the Sackler family that controls it, have already paid millions of dollars to various victims.

Additionally, cities and counties hit hard by the opioid epidemic have filed various lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and other responsible companies. Here’s the thinking.

The opioid epidemic forced cash-strapped cities, counties, and other government units to expand healthcare, criminal justice, and other services. It’s not fair for taxpayers, like you and I, to pay these costs. Instead, the responsible parties should pay them.

That’s the same reason many people file personal injury claims. If a public or private insurance company pays these bills, you and I end up paying them, in the form of higher taxes or insurance premiums. That ain’t right. 

Small-Scale Opioid Litigation

Individuals affected by the opioid epidemic also have legal options. In fact, they have several options.

Unscrupulous doctors often wrote painkiller prescriptions without asking too many questions. That’s especially true at the “pill mills” which exist in almost every city. This behavior breaches a doctor’s fiduciary duty. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and most other professionals can only take actions that are in the best interests of their patients, clients, or customers. 

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Because the duty of care is so high in medical malpractice cases, substantial compensation is often available.

Furthermore, many homeowners sat by and did nothing while their houses became drug houses. Owners have a duty of care to make their property reasonably safe. Once again, allowing illegal or dangerous activities clearly breaches their duty of care.

Drug shipping companies are often lost in the shuffle. Many of these companies made more money during the opioid epidemic than the pill producers. Under the Controlled Substances Act, when shipping companies transport controlled substances, they cannot just pack boxes and cash the checks. They also have a duty of care.

Picture of Bret Thurman

Bret Thurman

Bret is a former lawyer and full-time writer who knows how to simplify complex topics. He received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. For over twenty years, he handled a wide variety of cases, including criminal defense, personal injury, family law, and consumer bankruptcy.

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