How to File a Lawsuit Against Suboxone

30Jan
Man and lawyer discussing legal matters and signing contract papers.

If you have taken Suboxone sublingually and experienced dental complications, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Suboxone. The primary manufacturer and its affiliates did not disclose the potential dental complications associated with Suboxone to the public. Therefore, users of Suboxone are now seeking legal action by filing product liability lawsuits. To qualify, you must meet certain criteria, including having a prescription within specific dates and providing proof of medical and dental complications.

Man and lawyer discussing legal matters and signing contract papers.

Suboxone and Its Role in Treating Opioid Addiction

Suboxone is an FDA-approved prescription medication used to treat Opioid use disorder (OUD). This disorder is characterized by the compulsive use of opioid drugs, even when the person wants to quit or when drug use negatively affects his or her mental and physical health.

Suboxone has two primary uses. It can be used to stabilize someone in withdrawal during the medical detoxification process, and it can be used as a maintenance treatment to promote recovery from opioid use disorder.

Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine is a medication that acts as a partial opioid agonist. It can help reduce withdrawal symptoms during opioid detox and also curb a person’s cravings for opioids.

Naloxone was developed to reverse the dangerous symptoms of opioid overdose. The addition of Naloxone with Buprenorphine helps to make it difficult to abuse the medication, making it a safer alternative for those who benefit from long-term use as a form of medication-assisted therapy.

What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

Suboxone, like any other medication, can cause side effects even when taken as prescribed. The most common side effects associated with Suboxone, which may affect more than one in ten people, include difficulty sleeping, constipation, feeling sick, sweating, headache, and withdrawal syndrome.

Other relatively common side effects of Suboxone include swelling in arms and legs, vomiting, constipation, and mouth or tongue numbness, burning, and redness if you use the orally dissolvable film.

Less common but more severe side effects of Suboxone include low blood pressure when you stand up, impaired liver function, adrenal changes, sleep-related breathing issues, and allergic reactions if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.

Suboxone is available as a tablet or a dissolvable sublingual film. If you are using Suboxone film, you need to place it under your tongue so it can be absorbed into your body. However, the sublingual film version of Suboxone has been associated with dental problems including tooth decay, cavities, tooth extractions, broken teeth, jaw bone injuries, and other serious dental injuries.

How Can You Determine if You Have a Valid Lawsuit Against Suboxone?

If you have used Suboxone sublingual films and experienced dental health issues like tooth decay or loss, tooth extractions, broken teeth, and jaw bone injuries, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and claim compensation.

Numerous lawsuits related to Suboxone tooth decay have been filed across the United States. The lawsuits claim that Suboxone, a medication used for treating opioid disorders, can cause significant dental problems, including tooth decay, oral infections, cavities, and tooth loss. The plaintiffs assert that the manufacturer, Invidior, did not warn adequately about these risks. As a result, they are seeking compensation for the costs of dental treatment and repairs.

Due to the high number of lawsuits, they may be consolidated into a class action lawsuit, which is brought on behalf of a group of people who have suffered common injuries due to the defendant’s conduct.

Product Liability

These lawsuits are product liability claims, a type of personal injury claim with specific requirements. To be considered negligent in a product liability claim, a defendant must have breached their duty of care through a design flaw, manufacturing error, distribution issue, or labeling issue that led to an injury for a plaintiff who used the product as intended. If a drug manufacturer knew or should have known about the risks of their medication but did not provide sufficient warning to consumers, they could be held liable.

The Suboxone lawsuits filed against Indivior highlight their failure to warn the public about the side effects of using the sublingual film version of Suboxone.

Criteria for a Valid Claim Against Suboxone

To be eligible for a Suboxone lawsuit, you must meet specific criteria.

You Took Suboxone for Six Months

You must have been prescribed and taken Suboxone for at least six months to build a case for side effects. If your use was short-term, this probably won’t suffice for a valid claim.

You Experienced Injuries

You must demonstrate that you have experienced dental injuries such as tooth decay, tooth fractures, cavities, or gum disease within a few months after starting Suboxone.

You Were Not Aware of the Risks

You must not have been aware of the risks associated with taking Suboxone before you started using it. The warning label for the drug did not previously adequately disclose the possibility of dental harm. However, in June 2022, the prescribing information for Suboxone film was updated to include warnings about the risk of dental issues. As a result, if you took Suboxone before 2022, you may have a case, but If you took it after 2022, you are unlikely to.

Potential Evidence to Support Your Case

To support your case, you must have evidence that you experienced dental injuries such as cavities, tooth fractures, gum disease, or tooth decay within a few months of starting Suboxone. You will need to provide evidence that your gums and teeth were healthy before you started taking Suboxone, and that you suffered tooth and gum injuries after taking it.

As evidence, you can present records from routine dental checkups, X-rays, or other dental records from before and after you started using Suboxone. This will indicate any injuries to your teeth and gums and the treatment required.

You will also need to provide medical records that show you were taking Suboxone, which can include copies of prescriptions, receipts, or medical records obtained from your physician.

Filing a Lawsuit Against Suboxone in Florida

To file a lawsuit against Suboxone in Florida, you must follow the pharmaceutical lawsuit process.

The Legal Process in Florida for Filing a Pharmaceutical Lawsuit

When pursuing legal action against a pharmaceutical company in Florida, your personal injury lawyer will evaluate your potential legal claim by taking the following steps:

  • Determine the type of injury that was sustained.
  • Find out the product’s name and the manufacturer.
  • Establish when the injury occurred or when you realized that a medical device or drug was the cause.
  • Verify that the statute of limitations has not expired.
  • Collect all necessary medical records that can be used to document your injuries.
  • Take legal action by filing a lawsuit or try to settle the claim outside of court.

Once you file a lawsuit, your lawyer will represent you in litigation with the aim of winning the case in trial or reaching a satisfactory settlement before trial.

If you choose to litigate, a civil trial can be divided into two main stages: the pre-trial stage and the trial itself.

Pre-trial Process

In the pre-trial process, the first stage involves a client meeting with a lawyer to discuss his or her situation. Pleadings come next, where the plaintiff files a complaint, and the defendant files an answer or counterclaim. The longest stage is discovery, where evidence is gathered through written and oral discovery. Lawyers can also request actions from the judge in the form of motions. While knowing how many personal injury cases go to trial is impossible, they may resolve at this stage via settlement before going to trial.

Trial Process

In civil litigation in Florida, the trial stage is composed of three phases: settlement, trial, and judgment. Settlement occurs when both parties agree on a resolution before the trial proceeding. Trial involves the presentation of evidence by both parties, after which a judge or jury makes a decision and issues a verdict. The judgment is the final decision the judge or jury makes, based on the evidence presented and relevant laws.

The Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations are legal timeframes that dictate the eligibility of a claim in a court of law. If a claim is not filed before the expiration date, the plaintiff may lose the opportunity to pursue a lawsuit.

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for product liability is four years from the date of injury. For defective drug lawsuits, the statutes of limitation commonly start from the date of injury or diagnosis. However, in cases like the Suboxone litigation, where users experienced dental issues before using oral buprenorphine, which catalyzed further complications, there may be a technical gray area under the state’s statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits.Therefore, if you are considering when to get a personal injury lawyer, it is advisable as soon as possible to avoid losing your opportunity to file a lawsuit under Florida’s statute of limitations.

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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.