According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Many of these drug overdoses involve prescription opioid pain medicines. These drugs are highly addictive. When a doctor negligently prescribes addictive pain medications to their patients, they may be held liable for the damage they caused. Some family members have sued doctors after their loved ones died from an opioid overdose.
A Nevada couple has sued a doctor in Reno for allegedly overprescribing narcotics to their son, who later died of an overdose. Michael Yenick was a 33-year-old man who took oxycodone for a back injury. According to his parents, he became addicted to the drug before seeking help in rehab. However, his back pain still required pain management. This is when Yenick began to see Dr. Robert Rand.
Over the next year and a half, Dr. Rand continued to increase Yenick's Oxycodone dosage. Yenick's prior pain management doctor allegedly warned Dr. Rand about Yenick's history of drug and alcohol abuse, and “the need for detoxification.”
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, Dr. Rand prescribed pain drugs to patients without conducting appropriate physical examinations and without fully reviewing their medical histories. The complaint states that Rand prescribed excessive amounts of the narcotic, which carried a foreseeable risk of overdose and death. The Yenicks are seeking damages related to their son's pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and his eventual overdose and death.
Dr. Rand is also facing criminal charges for prescribing oxycodone to an individual without a legitimate medical purpose. Federal prosecutors have claimed that Dr. Rand was part of an operation that ran an oxycodone dealing ring out of a car dealership. The charges include distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death.
According to the National Institute of Health, the number of deaths from prescription drug overdose has continued to rise over the last 15 years. Over the years, the number of deaths from prescription opioid pain relievers have more than tripled.
Another wrongful death lawsuit has been brought against a pain doctor in Des Moines, Iowa. Paul Gray, bass player of the band Slipknot, died of a drug overdose in 2010. Dr. Daniel Baldi ran a pain management clinic, with Gray as one of his patients. County prosecutors charged Baldi with manslaughter for the death of Gray and other patients due to his reckless drug distribution.
Baldi was acquitted, but Breanna Gray filed a wrongful death complaint against the doctor for the death of Paul Gray. A judge dismissed the case because the statute of limitations had run to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the case was refiled on behalf of Gray's young son, October. October Gray was in utero at the time his father died, but the court has allowed the civil case to proceed against Baldi for wrongful death.
If you have lost a loved one due to a pain medication overdose, the Gilman & Bedigian team is here to help. We are fully equipped to handle the complex process of your medical malpractice claim. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of litigation experience, will focus on getting you compensation, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.