What are my rights if years ago I was over prescribed extremely potent painkillers and became addicted?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights if years ago I was over prescribed extremely potent painkillers and became addicted?

I was injured about 7 years ago and almost lost my leg. In return, my plastic surgeon started me off giving me percocet soon referring me to a pain management doctor. Now this doctor was prescribing me at the same time fentnyl patchs, opana oxymorphone, roxicodone and oxycontin. These doses kept getting hugher and higher and I became addicted. My behaviors changed and my family noticed that I wasn’t the same person; I started acting out. It has ruined the last 7 years of my life. I have been to dozens of rehabs and just can’t get or stay off the painkillers. It is hard because of the chronic pain from the misdiagnosis. I have had sexual problems in which I need medication to get and stay aroused. The doctors decided to keep me on a drug called

Asked on February 4, 2018 under Malpractice Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether it would be considered medically negligent, or unreasonably careless--essentially, against then-current (at the time of treatment) medical standards--to have prescribed these painkillers: either the type of painkillers, or the amount(s), or for how long, etc. If was medically inappropriate or careless, you may have a lawsuit against *the doctors* who presecribed them to you for malpractice. On the other hand, however, if they did follow appropriate guidelines or standards for your treatment, then even if the outcome or results were bad for you, there is no liability: the law accepts that sometimes, even good or proper medical treatment has a bad outome, and so only makes the doctor liable if he doctor was negligent or careless
You cannot sue the drug manufacturers unless you can show that you received medication that was not manufactured or labeled properly--for example, that it was significantly stronger than labeled, and that's why you became addicted. Otherwise, the medication is legal; has been approved by the FDA; and is safe when used appropriately or properly. They are not liable for manufacturing and selling a legal, approved product. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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