Medical Malpractice: Opioids
The opioid epidemic has been well documented across the country. More and more, we are hearing about lawsuits against prescribing physicians who recklessly lead patients to addiction, and sometimes even overdose.
Case in Point
One important case involved Dr. George Blatti, who is accused of prescribing opiates to patients he’d never met, or, in some cases, even spoken with. Adding to the problem is the fact that the good doctor had no special training to address pain management, and he frequently prescribed these drugs to patients with a known addiction history. Blatti has now been criminally charged with 5 counts of second-degree murder and 11 counts of first-degree reckless endangerment.
Opioid Issues in Maryland
The fact of the matter is that for many who struggle with heroin, oxycontin, Fentanyl, and other opioid issues, the addiction started with a trip to the doctor to deal with significant pain following surgery or other physical trauma. Sometimes patients become addicted to prescriptions and move on to street drugs. Other times, prescriptions get into the hands of teens or other household members, leading them to addiction. Here in Maryland, the death rate associated with opioids ranks in the top five across the nation. There are an estimated 50,000 addicts in Baltimore alone who need, but don’t get treatments every year. Some experts believe that number represents only a fraction of the population who is suffering from addiction issues. When a physician over-prescribes opioids and it leads to severe injury or death, what recourse do you have?
Any medical malpractice lawsuit is based on for critical elements:
- The duty of the provider to provide care equal to or exceeding the proper standard of care in Maryland;
- The provider breached that standard of care, meaning the care was below what is required;
- That breach of care was the cause or contributed to the cause of patient injury;
- The patient experienced damages due to injuries related to substandard medical care.
Statute of Limitations
There are somewhat inflexible deadlines related to filing a medical malpractice case in Maryland. In general, legal action has a filing deadline :
- Five years from the date of the injury, OR;
- Three years from the date of the discovery of the injury.
The latter deadline is designed to address issues where medical negligence occurred but negative impacts were not discovered for some time later.
Your Legal Advocate
If you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligent or reckless prescription writing of a physician whose actions were below the standard of care in Maryland, you may be reeling from the impacts of addiction. Is the thought of a lawsuit overwhelming? Now is the time to turn things over to the compassionate, yet aggressive and focused La Plata & Waldorf personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. You focus on recovering from the devastating emotional and physical impacts of the addiction, and let us handle the rest. Schedule a confidential consultation today.