Did the manufacturer of a powerful painkiller deliberately mislead doctors and the public about the safety of its drug, putting profits ahead of patients?

Those are the allegations against Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that put OxyContin on the market. Purdue Pharma has now filed a bankruptcy petition in a move that is likely a precursor to a nationwide settlement with the numerous state and local governments that are suing the company. If you've been harmed by an opioid addiction or your loved one was killed in an overdose, there are important things you should know.

What Are Your Rights as a Victim of the Opioid Crisis?

If you're considering filing a claim against Purdue due to your opioid addiction, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the company. Product manufacturing laws require drug companies to make consumers aware of the many risks that are involved when taking a drug.

OxyContin was touted as a "safe" drug that would treat pain without fear of addiction as long as the directions were followed. It's now known that OxyContin is highly addictive and people can become addicted even when they follow their doctor's instructions. 

In addition, it's now known that the company ignored obvious signs that some doctors, clinics, and pharmacies were operating "pill mills." Internal records should have alerted the company that so many pills were being dispensed through those places that it was impossible to be filling legitimate prescriptions.

For these reasons, many people feel that the company is at the heart of what will ultimately turn out to be a man-made drug crisis that has killed over 700,000 people between 1999 and 2017.

How Will the Company's Bankruptcy Affect Your Ability to File a Claim?

Purdue Pharma isn't alone with its request for bankruptcy protection and attempts to settle. Teva and Johnson & Johnson are other drug companies that have already settled some multi-million dollar claims regarding opioids or pledged money to do so. That money is likely to be doled out to various plaintiffs, including numerous state governments that are seeking to recoup money lost fighting prescription drug addiction.

Since the cases are lining up around the nation, it may be wisest to talk to a personal injury attorney soon about your rights. If you've been injured due to opioids, you may be entitled to sue the doctor that ignored your or your relative's drug addiction and one or more of the pharmacies that manufactured and marketed the drug.