How Do I Prove That Suboxone Caused My Injuries?

29Dec

How do I prove that Suboxone caused my injuries? To prove that Suboxone caused injuries in a lawsuit, plaintiffs in these cases must prove that they used Suboxone before 2022, that they suffered related tooth decay or dental issues, and that these health issues led to calculable damages that they may recover in a lawsuit.

Find out more about what to expect with a Suboxone lawsuit and how you may be able to build a case against the medication’s manufacturers.

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a medication that many doctors use to help treat withdrawal symptoms in opioid addicts. Its active ingredients include buprenorphine and naloxone that go into a sublingual tablet. Patients recovering from opioid addiction will take this medication to ease the transition to sobriety and avoid serious withdrawal symptoms.

What Are the Uses for Suboxone?

The primary use for Suboxone is to treat withdrawal symptoms in patients recovering from addiction to heroin, morphine, and other narcotics while undergoing treatment in a clinical setting, such as a rehabilitation facility.

Generally, patients 15 and older can take this medication when treating addictions in combination with other forms of treatment, like therapy and counseling.

Side Effects of Suboxone

You might wonder what happens if you take too much Suboxone. Even if patients take the doses that doctors prescribe them, individuals have experienced adverse side effects, which range from mild to serious.

Some side effects the manufacturer lists include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Numbness of the mouth
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Fainting and dizziness

Suboxone toxicity symptoms can also occur in individuals who overdose on the medication, although overdoses from Suboxone are far less likely than an overdose on another opioid.

Symptoms of a Suboxone overdose include blurred vision, extreme fatigue and drowsiness, confusion and dizziness, a lack of coordination, pinprick pupils, and blue coloration of the fingertips and lips.

Common Injuries Linked to Suboxone

Doctors treating opioid addiction have relied on Suboxone to mitigate withdrawal symptoms, but recent studies have linked Suboxone to tooth decay and other dental problems that can range from mild to severe.

The medication is sublingual, meaning it sits under the tongue or in the cheek until it dissolves. As it dissolves, it could cause tooth problems in some patients. One recent study concluded that Suboxone is more prone to causing tooth decay than other opioid addiction treatment medications, which has led to lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Indivior.

Some health effects that people have experienced as a result of Suboxone use include:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral infections
  • Cavities

These and other related dental problems may require extensive and costly procedures, from fillings to oral surgery and tooth extractions.

Challenges in Proving Causation and Liability for a Suboxone Lawsuit

People may be able to recover damages from Indivior in Suboxone lawsuits if they can prove that the manufacturer was liable for their injuries. The reason for this is that before 2022, Indivior failed to warn of the health risks associated with Suboxone, including its ability to cause dental health problems. As a result of studies showing its effects, Indivior began including an updated label in 2022, but people who took the medication before that year likely wouldn’t have known about the risks when taking the medication.

While it may be possible to file a lawsuit and recover economic and non-economic damages from Indivior for health issues resulting from Suboxone use, it can be difficult to prove liability in these cases.

One challenge that plaintiffs face in these cases is a tight statute of limitations and other restrictions resulting from new Florida legislation. Florida Tort Reform Bill 837 is a recent bill put into place to reduce the statute of limitations from four to two years for personal injury cases, including those involving lawsuits against Indivior for Suboxone damages. Additionally, this reform bill has changed the state’s comparative fault system and implemented new standards for gauging medical damages.

The Florida tort reform bill has the goal of preventing trivial lawsuits from going to court and reaching settlements, but it comes at the cost of coverage for people who sustain damages resulting from medications and medical procedures. Under this bill, individuals may not be able to recover all medical costs, and insurance companies could delay settlements or make low-ball settlement offers.

However, despite this bill being in place, attorneys can work with you to maximize compensation in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of Suboxone. They may also be able to help ensure you file your lawsuit on time before the statute of limitations passes.

What Are the Legal Elements Required to Prove That Suboxone Caused Your Injuries?

Another challenge seen with these suits entails proving that Indivior was negligent and that this negligence led to dental problems. Plaintiffs will need to prove three main items, including:

  1. They took Suboxone under the prescription of a doctor prior to 2022, before Indivior began including labels warning of the medication’s health risks.
  2. They experienced health issues related to Suboxone use, including tooth decay, tooth loss, and other dental problems that couldn’t have resulted from normal progressive decay.
  3. They sustained economic and non-economic damages resulting from their dental problems, including medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.

You might also wonder: what are the four types of negligence? In these cases, gross negligence could play a role in addition to negligence through failure to warn, potentially enabling plaintiffs to recover punitive damages along with compensatory economic and non-economic damages.

Steps to Prove Suboxone Caused Your Injuries in Florida

If you suffered injuries from Suboxone use when prescribed the medication before 2022, you may be able to recover a full Suboxone settlement from the manufacturer, Indivior. However, you must effectively prove liability and show how Indivior contributed to your injuries and health issues.

The following are some steps to take to prove negligence when filing a lawsuit in Florida.

Gather and Preserve Medical Records

After seeking treatment for your condition, you should maintain copies of all medical records, bills, and receipts that prove the extent of your injuries. These pieces of evidence will show how Suboxone use could have contributed to your health condition.

Some items to account for include:

  • Diagnostic documentation detailing your condition
  • The cost of procedures involving medical devices to treat your condition, including oral surgery
  • Medical expenses for ongoing care

If you have issues collecting this documentation at any point, work with a lawyer for help. He or she may be able to gain access to records and organize them to support your case.

Proof of Suboxone Use Before 2022

Another key piece of evidence to collect is proof that you used Suboxone before 2022, which is the year Indivior began issuing labels warning of the dangers associated with this medication.

Prescriptions, doctor-patient correspondence, tablets, or containers from 2021 or earlier could help show that you were unaware of the risks of taking Suboxone while prescribed.

Consult With a Knowledgeable Attorney

One last step to take before filing a lawsuit is to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney with experience handling lawsuits like those involving Suboxone can guide you through the legal process.

He or she can meet with you in a free consultation to discuss a case. This consultation won’t come with any charges, as most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you won’t need to pay unless the attorney agrees to take on your case and reaches a settlement.

If the lawyer decides to represent you in a Suboxone lawsuit, he or she can help you collect all relevant evidence, organize it into an argument, negotiate a settlement, and determine exactly how much your case is worth. He or she will calculate all economic and non-economic damages associated with your case.

Proving That Suboxone Caused Tooth Decay and Other Health Issues

Over the years, millions of opioid addicts have begun to seek treatment for their addictions and start the recovery process. Many of these patients and their doctors turned to Suboxone in the hope of making recovery easier, but Indivior’s negligence may have led many patients to come to harm when taking the medication as instructed.

In the event of tooth decay and other health problems resulting from Suboxone use, you may be able to recover total compensation for the damages you sustained. The key is being able to prove that Indivior’s failure to warn of the dangers of Suboxone consumption helped contribute to your condition and damages. With the help of a lawyer with experience in these matters, you may be able to prove negligence and recover all damages in a lawsuit.

Photo of Jim Magazine
James (Jim) Magazine is a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer who has spent his career helping injured victims. Jim is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida since 1990 and is also admitted to practice at the Appellate level and admitted to the United States Supreme Court.