In the ongoing legal battle for justice for opioid victims, attorneys argue that newborns should be separated into a different track from other cases.
A sprawling collection of opioid-related cases is currently moving forward as part of a multi-district litigation (MDL). But the attorneys representing babies injured by opioids are arguing for a separate track for their clients.
In an MDL, related cases are transferred to one court so that one judge can handle the litigation during the pretrial and discovery process. According to the lawyers, the interest of the newly born plaintiffs are so distinct from other plaintiffs (such as governmental bodies and other institutions), they must be treated separately to be protected.
In the current MDL set up, a committee has been formed representing plaintiffs, but it is solely comprised of representatives from governments and institutions. Because of that, that the newborn plaintiff’s teams are not informed when movement regarding their cases occur nor are they sure their interests are protected. They argue that the newborns should be treated as a marginalized class similar to the Native American tribes or third-party payors, who have already been granted a separate track to prevent marginalization.
Opioids and Fetal Health
In 1 out of 5 cases, opioid use by pregnant mothers can lead not only to neonatal abstinence syndrome but also a number of birth defects. Despite taking prescription opioids under the care of a physician or following a pain management program, complications affecting a woman’s reproductive health can occur. This can be particularly troublesome if the woman unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Women who become pregnant while taking opioid medication will often remain on opioids through a maintenance therapy program for the duration of her pregnancy. Even when taken as prescribed by a doctor, prescription opioid use during pregnancy can cause problems such as:
- Preterm Labor and Premature Birth
- Low Birth Weight
- Spina Bifida
- Neural Tube Defects
- Congenital Heart Defects
The attorneys representing these babies are working to hold opioid makers and distributors accountable for downplaying the risks of opioids and failing to report suspicious orders.
How Waters Kraus & Paul Can Help
The lawyers at Waters Kraus & Paul represent families who are raising children with birth defects as a result of prescription opioid use. We hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for opioid-induced birth defects. If you took prescription opioids during pregnancy and you are now raising a special needs child with spina bifida, neural tube defects, hydrocephaly, glaucoma, gastroschisis, or congenital heart defects, contact our opioid lawyers to have your potential opioid lawsuit reviewed. Email us or call 800.226.9880.