Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, working with Craig Schlapprizzi who is an attorney in St. Louis, recently settled a case for the family of a man who died of an overdose from hydrocodone and Xanax. He was forty years old and survived by his wife and three children.
Our client was an alcoholic and an opioid addict. He was also a good husband and great father. We sued numerous parties including his physician who negligently prescribed him opioid analgesics for a period of over 14 years despite having many reasons to believe he was addicted to pain medication and abusing alcohol. We also sued the physician’s employer for failing to have proper procedures in place to monitor its various doctors’ prescriptions for pain pills.
The defendants denied all liability and instead alleged that the negligence of our client and his wife were the proximate causes of the death. Defendants also alleged that the cause of death was heart attack, rather than acute overdose.
Despite the uphill battle to prove this type of medical malpractice case and many lawyers who would not accept this type of case, Charles M. Rittgers and his close friend and colleague Craig Schlapprizzi pursued an action to seek justice for the surviving family members. We hired experts from the finest teaching institutions in the United States – Yale, Duke, Washington University in St. Louis and Case Western Reserve. Lay witness interviews were conducted, counseling records were reviewed, medical records spanning over twenty years were analyzed, a focus group study was organized and conducted and the defendant doctor’s deposition lasted over seven hours.
Despite being in a conservative venue with difficult facts, the case settled for $1,000,000 before trial. We believe that the lawsuit and settlement will help deter doctors’ behavior in the future and are proud of the result for our client’s family.
Charlie and Craig are seeking similar cases to help end the opiate epidemic in Ohio. Please contact our office today if your loved one was over prescribed opioid pain medication. We will give you a free case evaluation. The time to pursue a recovery is limited in Ohio so please do not delay.