More than a dozen class action lawsuits have been filed on behalf of babies who were born addicted to opioids or diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
Opioid Addicted Baby Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits are seeking to force opioid manufacturers to pay for the medical costs of babies who were exposed to opioids during pregnancy and suffered withdrawal when they were born, in a devastating condition called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
What is the Risk?
Opioid use during pregnancy can have severe long-term consequences for a baby who is born addicted — birth defects, low birth weight, premature birth, developmental delays, behavior problems, learning disability, speech and hearing issues, and more.
What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?
If a pregnant woman uses opioid drugs within a few weeks before delivery, her baby will be born dependent on the drug. After birth, when the baby is no longer getting the drug, the baby will suffer the symptoms of opioid withdrawal as the drug is slowly cleared from the baby’s body. This is called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
Symptoms of Opioid Addicted Baby
The symptoms of an opioid-addicted baby will develop within 1 to 3 days after birth, but sometimes take up to 1 week to appear. The baby is usually very fussy and hard to calm.
Symptoms of an opioid-addicted baby may include:
- Excessive crying or high-pitched crying
- Excessive sucking
- Poor feeding
- Sleep problems
- Slow weight-gain
Some babies who are born addicted to opioids suffer from severe withdrawal. They may need to take opioid medication like methadone or morphine to treat withdrawal. These babies often must remain hospitalized for weeks or months until doctors can slowly decrease the dose, which helps reduce the severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Lawyers File Class Actions for Opioid Addicted Babies
In February 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed in Louisiana on behalf of a baby who was born addicted to opioids, as well as other babies in the state with NAS.
Lawsuit Seeks Billions to Pay for Long-Term Medical Care
Attorneys from at least 20 law firms are seeking a trial against opioid pharmaceutical companies for over 2,000 babies who were diagnosed with NAS, according to the Washington Post. They are seeking billions of dollars in a financial settlement or a jury verdict to cover the long-term cost of caring for babies with NAS.