The opioid epidemic continues to plague Ohio and other states around the country. Many people still attach a stigma of moral failing to the problem of addiction and blame the addict. One of the refrains so often heard is that the addict had a choice to take the pills and made the wrong choice. But what if the pills are prescribed by a doctor to hard-working people simply trying to find relief for chronic pain? Accidental overdoses may be attributable to medical malpractice.

A patient treated for pain at the Cleveland Clinic recently died from accidental overdoses of opioid medications. He was a grandfather and a long-distance truck driver who was a big fan of Patsy Kline. He suffered from back pain brought on by years of long periods of sitting while driving his truck and back strain caused by loading and unloading cargo. He had also suffered prior injuries and surgeries to his back, knees and shoulder.

The truck driver had been prescribed oxycodone, hydrocodone and benzodiazepine, the brand names of which are OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax, respectively. All are considered to be highly addictive. The man’s family observed behavioral changes that were consistent with opioid use disorder. According to the grandchildren, their mother was concerned about the medications her husband was taking and had requested that the doctor change his medications. This was not done and he died of an accidental overdose, resulting in the family bringing a malpractice lawsuit against the doctor.

Opioids are known to be potentially hazardous. If a person in Ohio has lost a loved one to an accidental overdose where the medications were prescribed by a doctor one may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and help determine if a medical malpractice suit is a feasible option.