WACO (June 25, 2014) The civil law office of Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P.C. is venturing on an impressive crusade throughout the nation, handling cases involving the accidental intoxication of the drug methadone that have handed them verdicts and settlements worth millions of dollars.
Methadone, which is normally a narcotic to help treat drug addiction, is being chosen by doctors across the nation to prescribe to patients as pain medication.
The drug is popular because it’s cheaper and more generic than other pain medications like hydrocodone or oxycodone. The only problem, as medical literature points out, is that it can be very difficult to prescribe to just any person.
According to the Center for Disease Control, an estimated 5,000 people die every year of overdoses related to methadone.
In 2007, 30-year-old James Foley of Groesbeck suffered such a fate. However, heads turned within his family when they learned their physician had prescribed an improper dosage to Foley.
Foley’s family went to Matt Morrison, an attorney for Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P.C, who then filed suit.
A settlement was eventually reached but for Morrison, it wouldn’t be the last methadone case to come across his desk.
Seven deaths across the nation caused by an accidental intoxication of methadone led to seven civil court cases spearheaded by Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P.C., each of them similar to Foley’s case.
"They all started off on too high a dose and usually they're not monitored adequately,” Morrison said.
“When that happens, in many cases there are patient deaths within the first week to ten days."
In all, Morrison and his colleagues have handled 9 cases involving an accidental intoxication of methadone.
They’ve won verdicts to the tune of $487,000 in Los Angeles, $3,300,000 in Salt Lake City, $1,912,000 in Maine, and $9,505,000 in Las Vegas most recently this week.
All 9 cases, both settlements and verdicts combined, add up to an estimated $17,000,000 according to Morrison.
The high dollar amounts echo the lack of medical knowledge found in numerous cases where methadone was prescribed inadequately.
"What we see often in each of these deaths is they could have easily been prevented, and a jury sees that,” Morrison said.
“Usually carelessness is the cause of death."
With the drug becoming more common, Morrison is strongly advising patients who have been prescribed methadone to do their due diligence.
He recommends researching the drug and holding physicians accountable if prescribed.
He also says to ultimately follow the prescription but to keep an eye out for side effects and notify your physician immediately if you have any questions.