What Damages Can I Seek in a Suboxone Lawsuit?

29Dec

What damages can I seek in a Suboxone lawsuit? If you suffer dental injuries because of Suboxone use, you may be able to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages in a Suboxone lawsuit. Depending on when you used Suboxone and the nature of your injuries, an attorney could help you develop a successful product liability case against this medication’s manufacturers and distributors.

Knowing more about these cases and how they work can help you determine if you have a valid lawsuit.

Suboxone Lawsuits in Florida

Suboxone is a medication that doctors often use to help treat withdrawal symptoms in individuals with an opioid addiction. The two active ingredients in this medication include naloxone and buprenorphine, which combine to form a sublingual tablet that patients take to mitigate the effects of withdrawal in conjunction with other components in a treatment program.

While many doctors have relied on Suboxone for treating withdrawal symptoms in clinical environments, studies have linked it to tooth decay and other dental problems that its manufacturers failed to warn about prior to 2022.

As a result of this failure to warn, people in Florida and across the country have begun filing lawsuits against the makers of Suboxone.

Establishing Liability in a Suboxone Lawsuit

Like other types of product liability lawsuits, plaintiffs in Suboxone lawsuits must prove how the manufacturer Indivior was liable for the damages resulting from Suboxone consumption.

Individuals filing lawsuits must prove three core items in these cases, including:

  • That they used prescription Suboxone for withdrawal treatment prior to 2022, when manufacturers issued a warning about the dangers of taking this medication.
  • That they suffered tooth decay, tooth loss, broken teeth, or other related issues beyond a normal rate of tooth decay.
  • That they sustained quantifiable damages because of the Suboxone-related tooth decay, including medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Plaintiffs will also need to demonstrate how manufacturers like Indivior were aware of the risks of taking Suboxone, or should have known about them, but failed to warn of their dangers.

Generally, if you sustained any of the following conditions related to Suboxone, you could qualify for a lawsuit if you took the medication before 2022: Severe tooth decay, broken teeth, tooth extractions, jaw bone deterioration, and loss of teeth.

Defendants in a Suboxone Lawsuit

The primary defendant in Suboxone lawsuits is the drug’s brand-name manufacturer, Indivior. The argument that plaintiffs and their attorneys are making in these cases is that Indivior failed to warn of the dangers associated with Suboxone pertaining to tooth decay and damage.

Indivior came under fire, largely with a 2022 study showing how Suboxone can cause severe tooth decay and other types of dental health problems. However, attorneys building lawsuits against Suboxone were already aware of the danger the medication presented. According to the study, patients who took the sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone medication suffered more tooth decay and dental issues than individuals taking oral naltrexone and transdermal buprenorphine.

As a result of this study and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s warning about Suboxone, Indivior included a warning label for Suboxone in 2022. The lawsuits argue that Indivior was aware of the dangers its medication presented but failed to warn distributors and others of these dangers. As a result, doctors prescribed the medication and individuals took it before 2022 without knowledge of the risks associated with Suboxone.

Ultimately, the main issue at the center of these cases is a failure to warn of the potential harm caused by Suboxone prior to 2022. If you used the medication before then and suffered related health problems, you may qualify for a lawsuit against Indivior.

Types of Damages in a Suboxone Lawsuit

Depending on the degree of injury you sustained because of Suboxone use before 2022, you may be able to recover compensation for a variety of damages. These can include:

Medical Expenses

One of the main types of economic losses you may have endured because of Suboxone use pertains to medical costs. People with extensive tooth decay and other health issues may require varying degrees of treatment.

For instance, you may need:

  • Oral surgery
  • One or more root canals
  • Fillings for cavities
  • Antibiotics to treat infections and abscesses
  • Crowns or crown replacements

These and other treatments can come with steep costs that compensation in a Suboxone lawsuit may cover.

Lost Wages

In addition to medical expenses, you may be able to recover another type of economic damage related to loss of income. For instance, you may need to take time off from work to receive treatment or recover from an extensive dental procedure.

If you miss work because of your tooth decay and other issues, you could recover this in a lawsuit to supplement medical costs.

Pain and Suffering

Victims who suffer the health effects of Suboxone use may also experience a degree of physical pain and psychological distress, which count toward non-economic damages in product liability suits.

People could experience pain in their mouth or jaw due to dental problems, and they could also experience depression, anxiety, or trauma because of the psychological effects of this decay.

While these damages aren’t as easy to calculate as economic medical costs and lost income, there are ways to quantify them and include them in a total settlement amount.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases, punitive damages can play a part in product liability cases. These could apply in Suboxone lawsuits if plaintiffs can prove that Indivior was aware of the dangers of the drug and engaged in gross negligence in its failure to warn of or address the issues resulting from its use.

How to File a Suboxone Lawsuit in Florida

If you have suffered health concerns related to Suboxone use and took the medication before 2022, you may have grounds for a lawsuit in Florida, so it’s important to know how to file a lawsuit against Suboxone.

At this time, Suboxone lawsuits are individual lawsuits, as they have not joined together in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) case. This could change over time as more cases come up, with many people having taken Suboxone to help treat their opioid additions in Florida and across the country.

To begin a lawsuit, there are some key steps to take when building a case.

Seek Legal Assistance From an Experienced Attorney

The first step toward building a Suboxone lawsuit is to consult a personal injury lawyer with experience handling product liability lawsuits. The right attorney will meet with you in a free consultation to discuss your case and determine if you have a viable lawsuit. He or she will ask you questions about the nature of your Suboxone use and whether you took the medication before 2022, when you likely would have been unaware of the dangers this medication posed.

If the attorney decides to take on your case, he or she can begin collecting evidence to prove liability and the nature of your damages. The attorney would then be able to calculate the total compensation you’re able to recover in a Suboxone lawsuit.

Personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee in most cases, meaning you won’t need to pay for representation unless the attorney secures a settlement. This model is why lawyers will need to ensure you have a valid case before agreeing to represent you.

So, why hire a personal injury lawyer in these cases? Having an attorney by your side may increase your chances of succeeding with a lawsuit. He or she will have the knowledge and resources needed to help prove liability and seek total compensation for all damages resulting from Suboxone use.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Suboxone Lawsuit in Florida

Like other types of personal injury cases, Suboxone lawsuits have a time limit before individuals are no longer able to file. This time limit is called the statute of limitations, and it varies depending on the case type and state.

While the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida used to be four years from the time of injury or discovery of injury, updates to the statute of limitations have decreased the limit to two years. As a result, you have two years to file a lawsuit against Indivior upon experiencing or discovering health problems related to Suboxone intake. Failure to file after this time could severely limit or eliminate your chances of recovering compensation in a lawsuit.

By taking action in time, you may be able to recover full compensation for all medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering resulting from Suboxone use before 2022. In addition, your lawyer may be able to identify opportunities to recover punitive damages if Indivior’s gross negligence factored into the case. Suing Indivior for these damages may help pave the way for safer withdrawal medications in the future and set an example for other manufacturers.

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.