NEW JERSEY OPIOID OVER-PRESCRIPTION LAWYERS
For a decade, Richard (Rick) Hollawell has been unrelenting in holding doctors responsible for improperly prescribing painkillers and other medicines to their patients causing addiction and death. Mr. Hollawell does not just go after irresponsible doctors. He has also fought against and held pharmaceutical companies responsible for fraudulent marketing and their flooding of painkillers into our communities.
We are in the midst of an epidemic with rates of deaths and overdoses from prescription medication at unprecedented levels. Mr. Hollawell has a highly regarded reputation throughout the United States for aggressively taking on and taking down unethical doctors and unethical pharmaceutical companies.
Richard Hollawell was one of the first attorneys in the country to litigate to jury verdict a prescription painkiller overdose death against a negligent doctor in 2011. Since 2009 his quest for justice has resulted in millions of dollars being awarded to families who have lost loved ones from opioids due to negligent and reckless actions by doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
Attorneys and news media outlets around the country seek out Richard Hollawell for his insight and advice about the cause of this epidemic. His efforts go beyond the handling of your civil case, he has also worked feverishly with various law enforcement agencies to revoke doctors medical licenses for their negligence and reckless prescribing of painkillers to their patients causing addiction and death.
Richard Hollawell will be personally invested in you and your case, and will methodically and aggressively work for you to insure you get the maximum compensation you and your family deserve.
What is Opioid Overprescription and Do I Have a Case?
More and more, we’ve been seeing pharmaceutical companies and doctors finally facing consequences for decades of over-prescribing highly addictive opioids. The legal forms of opioids, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine, are intended to treat severe pain. They are usually prescribed after a surgery or injury, and in quantities that are in excess of the recommended amount or what would be considered necessary after a specific surgery or injury. The addictive nature of prescription opioids and the difficulty of acquiring more once the bottle runs out has led to the country’s widespread heroin epidemic, as heroin is far easier and cheaper to obtain than prescription pills.
Opioid misuse happens when patients take the medicine in a different dose than prescribed or through a different method (such as nasally in powder form or intravenously after dissolving the pills in water), when people take someone else’s prescription, or when they’re taken to get high rather than to treat pain.
If you or a loved one have undergone surgery or treatment for an injury and were prescribed an opioid painkiller and have suffered health problems or death from an overdose, the medical provider could be held legally responsible if it is determined that they knowingly over-prescribed the painkillers. We’re here to help you build your case and ensure that you receive justice.
The over-prescription of opioid painkillers that leads to health problems or death can be considered medical malpractice or negligence. In these instances, your doctor will have deviated from the accepted professional standard of care. It’s important to understand what you’ll need to prove in order to successfully bring an opioid over-prescription case against your medical provider.
What Do I Need to Prove an Opioid Over-prescription Case in New Jersey?
The statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice case in New Jersey is two years from the date that the malpractice occurred. However, with opioid addiction, health issues, and death, the effects can take longer than that to occur or become noticeable. Luckily, New Jersey has provisions for this exception, allowing the statute of limitations to apply from when the patients would have reasonably become aware of the health issues caused by the doctor’s actions.
These actions can include:
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Prescribing too many pills (the most common occurrence)
- Prescribing the wrong opioid for the patient’s condition
- Prescribing opioids to patients with conditions that are not always safe to take opioid painkillers with
A number of factors can be considered when building an opioid over-prescription case, including:
- Whether the doctor adequately looked into the patient’s medical history for any conditions that may prove risky to take an opioid painkiller or for any history of substance abuse or addiction
- If the prescription was medically necessary for the patient
- If refills were provided without actually seeing the patient
- If the patient was warned about the risks of opioid painkillers
- Whether the doctor was receiving kickbacks for prescribing certain opioids or if they have a history of writing an excessive number of prescriptions for opioids to patients
For a comprehensive look at what the process for medical malpractice cases in New Jersey looks like, you can view our medical malpractice page.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have an Opioid Overprescription Case?
The biggest catalyst in the legal cases against doctors and pharmaceutical companies has been the discovery that many pharmaceutical companies are essentially bribing doctors with money and other benefits to prescribe their drug. This has led to doctors doling out opioid prescriptions like candy for financial gain, while the people who trusted their doctors to take care of them are suffering. Richard Hollawell has 10 years of experience in opioid over-prescription cases, knows how to take on reckless doctors and drug makers, and can get you the compensation that you deserve.
If you think your doctor has been over-prescribing opioid painkillers to you or a loved one and you’ve suffered from lasting health problems, addiction, or an overdose death as a result, please contact us at (800) 681-3550 so we can start building your case.
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In The News
Richard Hollawell In The News
Richard Hollawell has been in dozens of newspaper, magazine and internet publications resulting in his efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
Guns, Money & Sex – How One Company Sold Fentanyl: The Palm Beach Post wrote a story detailing a pending lawsuit filed by former Insys sales rep, Maria Guzman. In the lawsuit, she claims that the company bribed doctors to prescribe Subsys. Subsys is the Fentanyl-based opioid that Sarah Fuller was prescrived and later overdosed on.
Doctors Escape Punishment For Profiting Off Prescribing Opioids: Raycom media investigated the careers of doctors who were part of Insys’s controversial speaking program. Despite accepting money from a pharmaceutical company and then prescribing the medication, many doctors who were part of this program are still allowed to practice medicine. Raycom interviewed Mr. Hollawell about one of his pending lawsuits for their story.
Opioid Regulation and Big Pharma: WSFA, a local NBC news station in Alabama, recently wrote about the opioid crisis and big pharma. They interviewed Richard Hollawell about his lawsuits against drug manufacturers and how those companies skirt the government’s insufficient regulation.
America’s Most Dangerous Drug Dealers: NowThis Weed, a division of the popular Facebook news page NowThis, used the story of Sarah Fuller to highlight how America’s most dangerous drug dealers make billions.
Insys Allegedly Used Models To Entice Doctors To Prescribe Subsys: My Palm Beach Post investigation found that Alec Burklakoff, hired former exotic dancers, Playboy models to get doctors to prescribe their drug. According to the charges, Alec Burklakoff helped oversee these hires personally. According to a shareholder lawsuit, Mr. Burklakoff allegedly said “If you keep (patients) on (Subsys) for four months, they’re hooked. … Then they’ll be on it a year, maybe longer,” to a training class for new sales representatives.
Subsys Left Victims Addicted Or Dead: As part of their investigation, My Palm Beach Post profiled patients who became addicted to Subsys, including Sarah Fuller. When Sarah Fuller was hospitalized in 2015 due to a severe reaction to the drug, the hospital recommended she stop taking Subsys. Instead, Sarah’s doctor said her body just needed time to adjust to the spray and encouraged her to continue taking it. Sarah died from an overdose a year later.
Local Columnist Wonders if New Anti-Drug Policy Will Target Pill-Pushers: A Salem News journalist reported on President Trump’s proposal to consider the death penalty for drug dealers. The journalist wonders if the same treatment will extend to pharmaceutical companies addicting their patients to opioids, citing the pending case of Sarah Fuller and Insys Therapeutics.
Insys Accused Of Bribing Doctors: An explosive report came out in March 2018 from New York City. According to the unsealed indictment, five NYC doctors apparently accepted more than $800,000 and other lavish gifts to prescribe Subsys to unsuspecting patients. This federal indictment accuses Insys reps of tactics similar to those we accuse them of in the lawsuit we filed on behalf of the Sarah Fuller estate.
Keep up with Richard J. Hollawell’s Sarah Fuller case in Newsweek’s U.S Edition, “Opioid Crisis Driven By Shady Drug Company Tactics, Investigators Say,” by Jessica Firger.
Richard J. Hollawell declared a becoming hero in the prescription opioid epidemic ravaging the US by Marianne Skolek, an Investigative Reporter for the Global News Centre. View article here
Amid a national opioid addiction crisis, John Kapoor of Insys Therapeutics Inc. has been arrested. Kapoor has been accused of offering kickbacks to doctors to write large numbers of prescriptions for a fentanyl-based pain medication that’s meant for cancer patients. Several of these allegations are similar to the civil suit filed earlier this year on behalf of the estate of the late Sarah Fuller.
Partner Richard J. Hollawell’s and his client, Deborah Fuller, will be featured on CBS Morning News Friday, October 27, 2017. Click to view the video
“In a four-count lawsuit filed Thursday, October 5th, New Jersey’s attorney general charged the drug’s manufacturer, Insys Therapeutics Inc. with consumer fraud stating “blatant disregard for the law” that put “hundreds” of lives in jeopardy and “led to the death of at least one New Jersey resident” — 32-year-old Sarah Fuller of Camden County.” View article here
Richard J. Hollawell, in pursuit of a claim on behalf of Sarah Fuller’s estate against Insys Therapeutics Inc., obtained an audio recording in response to a subpoena. The audio recording is of a shocking call in which an Insys representative misled a pharmacy benefit manager to secure authorization for the fentanyl spray Subsys for the late Sarah Fuller, who subsequently died from the dangerous drug. Mr. Hollawell’s discovery became national news after he provided the audiotape of the call to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who on September 6, 2017, included the evidence in the report of her opioids investigation findings. Mr. Hollawell is scheduled to testify about the Fuller matter at a Congressional hearing on September 12, 2017. For more about this new development in this ongoing opioid overdose case, read the Philadelphia Inquirer article or the CNN article.
“Richard Hollawell is like no other attorney. I was represented better than I could’ve ever imagined. I was treated as a friend rather than a client. My opinions were valued and my doubts were always reassured. The process was always explain to me, even if I needed reassurance over and over.”M. Edwards
“His compassion and fight for vindication for our daughter, Sarah Ann Fuller cannot be surpassed. It has never been about just money. It has been about making those who harmed our daughter accountable for their actions. I absolutely give Richard Hollawell, Esq. the highest rating.”D. Fuller
I was a client of Rick Hollawell. He handled my case with persistence and professionalism. Communication is key and you definitely get that from Rick! He also is a fighter and will work day in and day out for his clients. I’m extremely pleased with the outcome of my case!Jarrod
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