Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided a case in which the family members of a man who died from a fentanyl overdose sued the pharmacy where the man had bought the drug. In this specific case, the highest Court barred the case because the man had obtained the drug illegally. Due to the fact that the man’s illegal actions contributed to his death, the court decided not to allow the case to proceed.
The story is an interesting one. Based on this decision alone, people may assume that it is not possible to sue for wrongful death after a loved one dies from an overdose. Fortunately, that is not the case and in some cases, family members can sue after a loved one dies from a potentially fatal drug such as fentanyl.
When Can You Sue for a Death Due to a Drug Overdose?
If you have lost someone due to a drug overdose, there are times when it is possible to sue. These cases typically fall under medical malpractice law, which holds doctors and other healthcare professionals liable when they make errors that cause harm, including death, to patients. Some instances in which it is possible to file a lawsuit include:
- A doctor prescribes the wrong dosage of a drug and the patient follows the instructions, overdoses, and passes away as a result.
- A pharmacist dispenses a drug at the right dosage but the wrong strength, results in the patient taking the drug and dying as a result.
- A patient is in a substance abuse program and the center does not provide treatment to a patient who is overdosing, resulting in their death.
- A healthcare professional does not explain the possible side effects and risks of the drug, including addiction. After taking the drug, the patient becomes addicted and accidentally overdoses.
- A drug company fails to warn about the dangers of a certain drug, and a patient becomes addicted and dies as a result.
Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case is never easy. A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the damages you deserve.
Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death is not only very painful, but it will also leave surviving family members dealing with certain financial losses, too. Through a wrongful death claim, you can recover for these losses, which may include:
- The cost of medical treatment
- Lost wages
- The cost of treatment in a drug rehabilitation facility
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
The damages you and your family are entitled to receive will depend on the specific facts of a case.
Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Philadelphia Can Explain Your Legal Options
At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers know the difficulties you and your family are facing right now. Our skilled attorneys can help you file your claim and recover the full damages you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.