Like other types of class action lawsuits and civil cases, Suboxone lawsuits have a specific statute of limitations dictating how long plaintiffs have to file a case before they’re unable to recover compensation.
Find out what the statute of limitations is for your case and determine whether you have the ability to file a lawsuit against Suboxone.
What Is Suboxone?
The opioid crisis continues to affect millions in the U.S., leading medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies to find ways to combat this epidemic. As a result, drug manufacturers like Indivior have developed certain treatments that may help curb cravings and treat withdrawal symptoms. However, Indivior is the subject of multiple class action lawsuits because of its failure to warn of certain health problems associated with its medication Suboxone.
Suboxone is a specific sublingual treatment that dissolves under the tongue. Its active ingredient, buprenorphine, is an acidic substance that eases withdrawal in patients. The sublingual administration of Suboxone also deters misuse. Unfortunately, studies have linked the acidic agonist in Suboxone to multiple dental problems, including tooth decay, tooth erosion, gum inflammation, and other issues.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Suboxone in 2002, but Indivior failed to warn of the risks associated with the drug’s buprenorphine agent until January 2022. Manufacturers have a responsibility of warning consumers of the risks associated with their products, and plaintiffs in Suboxone tooth decay lawsuits allege that Indivior’s failure to warn constitutes negligence and warrants compensation.
What Are the Uses of Suboxone?
The primary use of Suboxone is for treating opioid addiction and withdrawal. Doctors may prescribe it to patients to help ease withdrawal symptoms from heroin, fentanyl, and other substances, as it prevents them from activating opioid receptors in the brain.
In addition to taking Suboxone, individuals in opioid treatment programs may also receive behavioral therapy and other treatments to help them recover.
Statute of Limitations in Illinois
All civil cases in Illinois and across the U.S. have a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time people have to file a case. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the time of injury or the discovery of injury, meaning that plaintiffs have two years to file a lawsuit against Indivior and other manufacturers for negligence before they’re unable to recover compensation.
However, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations, depending on the nature of the case. You should know what happens if you miss a class action lawsuit and potential exceptions to the statute of limitations.
What Is the Legal Purpose of a Statute of Limitations?
Cases have a statute of limitations in place to prevent unfair litigation. If too much time passes following a personal injury or another incident warranting legal action, there may be insufficient evidence to prove damages and succeed with a case.
Over time, evidence could depreciate or become lost or otherwise unobtainable. Additionally, witness testimony may not be valid, as their memories of inciting incidents may not be as clear after several years have passed.
Factors That Could Impact the Time Limit
While most cases must adhere to the statute of limitations, there are some instances when plaintiffs may be able to file a class action lawsuit after the time limit has passed.
Some exceptions to the Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury cases include:
- When the victim is a minor at the time of the injury and must be 18 or older to file a lawsuit
- When the plaintiff suffers from a disability preventing him or her from building a case
- When it’s not possible to locate the defendant
The discovery rule could also factor into a case’s statute of limitations. This rule establishes that the time limit won’t begin until the plaintiff discovers that he or she has sustained an injury and is aware that the injury resulted from negligence.
What Are the Consequences of Missing the Statute of Limitations?
If plaintiffs fail to file a lawsuit against Indivior or other defendants before the statute of limitations passes, they may be unable to proceed with a case.
Challenges That May Arise if the Time Limit Is Missed
Once the statute of limitations passes for a case, the courts may decide to dismiss the case. However, there are some exceptions when plaintiffs could still file following the time limit. While plaintiffs may be able to proceed with a case after reaching the statute of limitations, defendants may argue that too much time has passed and attempt to dismiss the case.
On the other hand, if your lawyer fails to file a claim on time, you could file a lawsuit against the attorney for legal malpractice.
Steps for Filing a Suboxone Lawsuit
To ensure you’re able to file a claim before passing the statute of limitations, you must know the steps to take to succeed with a lawsuit.
The following are the basic steps involved in class action cases against Indivior.
If you experience tooth decay or other dental problems beyond normal decay and believe Suboxone is responsible, you should seek treatment from a medical professional. Dentists, dental surgeons, and other care professionals can diagnose and treat your condition with the right approach.
At the same time, receiving treatment provides you with medical records proving the nature of your injuries and help support a case.
Collecting Relevant Evidence Proving Negligence
In addition to medical records received through treatment, you should collect other forms of evidence proving that Indivior’s negligence led to your injuries and damages.
For example, you should maintain copies of prescriptions for Suboxone that you received prior to 2022 when Indivior began warning of the risks of taking the medication. You should also be able to obtain other evidence, such as proof of lost income resulting from recovery or treatment that prevented you from returning to work.
You could also have evidence of pain and suffering that resulted from your injuries, including a journal describing anxiety, depression, or trauma related to your health issues.
Consulting With an Attorney
Once you’ve sought treatment and begun collecting relevant evidence, you should meet with a class action lawyer to discuss a case.
You should also know how to choose a lawyer to handle your case, as not all attorneys are qualified to file class action lawsuits like the ones involving Suboxone. Seek an attorney with experience handling class action lawsuits like yours, with years of practice behind them.
Also, look for an attorney that only charges a contingency fee for representation. Clients pay this fee only if their attorney reaches a settlement, which is why class action attorneys want to ensure they have a valid case before providing representation.
Filing the Lawsuit
If an attorney decides to handle your case, he or she can gather and organize all evidence to begin building a case.
At this time, lawsuits against Suboxone maker Indivior are consolidating into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) lawsuit involving many plaintiffs with similar experiences. With the help of an MDL, plaintiffs may have an easier time reaching a settlement through a simplified legal process.
Reaching a Settlement
Plaintiffs in Suboxone lawsuits may recover compensation for all damages resulting from Indivior’s negligence. At this time, the prospective settlement amounts that plaintiffs may recover range from around $50,000 to $150,000, but the settlement could be higher in some cases.
Generally, the more extensive the damages and severe the injuries sustained, and the more negligent the defendants are, the more compensation the courts are likely to award plaintiffs.
The specific damages plaintiffs may recover in Suboxone lawsuits could include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages include financial losses such as medical expenses, lost income, and other costs related to dental problems resulting from Suboxone use. Meanwhile, non-economic damages may include pain and suffering and emotional distress sustained because of Suboxone damage.
If the courts find the defendants in these cases liable for gross negligence, plaintiffs may also recover punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, the courts award punitive damages to punish defendants and prevent similar incidents in the future. Indivior may need to pay punitive damages if the court finds that they failed to warn of or address the dangers Suboxone posed to consumers.
File a Lawsuit on Time to Recover Damages
If you suffered dental problems and believe Indivior’s negligence is behind them, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer for all related damages. However, you only have a limited amount of time to file before you’re ineligible to recover compensation. To avoid running out of time, file your lawsuit with the help of an attorney before the Illinois statute of limitations passes, which can increase your chances of succeeding.