Serious dental problems have been linked to Suboxone, a drug used to treat drug and alcohol addiction. As a result, the Federal Drug Administration has launched an investigation into the side effects of Suboxone and thousands of people have joined a Suboxone class-action lawsuit to recover damages for injuries.
Table of Contents
Suboxone Class-Action Lawsuits in Illinois
Suboxone is a prescription drug that is used to treat opioid addiction disorders. It’s a combination drug that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine (used to manage opioid dependence and pain) and naloxone (used to reverse an opioid overdose).
The treatment with Suboxone for opioid use disorders includes two phases, induction and maintenance. During the maintenance phase, patients are put on a stable dosage, which may be 2 milligrams, 4 milligrams, 8 milligrams, or 12 milligrams as prescribed by a licensed physician. Suboxone dosages are usually given to patients over a 2 or 3-day period, and the dosage may vary based on the patient’s withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone comes as a film that dissolves under the tongue or between the cheek and gums. Directions must be followed closely to make sure the patient receives the proper dosage and that the film dissolves completely. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has classified buprenorphine and all drugs that contain buprenorphine as Schedule III drugs. This means that Suboxone has an accepted medical use and a moderate potential for misuse and injury. Schedule III drugs are often prescribed for pain management, anesthesia, and appetite suppression.
What Are the Claims Against Suboxone Manufacturers?
Since Suboxone is administered through a film that dissolves in the mouth, it has the potential to cause serious dental problems. Many people have suffered serious dental issues that have led to a Suboxone class action lawsuit against manufacturers, notably Indivor, Inc. and its parent company Reckitt Benckiser. Suboxone lawsuits point to Indivor, Reckitt, and their US affiliates as defendants for allegedly failing to warn about Suboxone’s risks like tooth decay, cavities, and other serious dental concerns. Some patients had to get dentures, crowns, and implants to repair the damage, and they claim that the drug manufacturers failed to properly warn them about the injury risks to their teeth. Injury claims include the following dental conditions:
- Chewing difficulties
- Dentin exposure
- Enamel erosion
- Gum bleeding and gum disease
- Tooth abscess and tooth loss
- Tooth fractures
In 2020, Indivior paid $600 million to the federal government for improperly promoting Suboxone to the public. The 2019 antitrust settlement was a whopping $1.4 billion paid to the government, states, and the FTC. In June 2023, Indivior paid $102.5 million to settle lawsuits from dozens of states. In August 2023, they paid another $30 million to resolve a class action lawsuit filed by health plans that alleged the company prevented similar buprenorphine drugs from going into the market. To date, numerous lawsuits and settlements have resulted in total payouts of well over $2 billion.
According to Reckitt Benckiser, the sublingual Suboxone tablets have been discontinued. The company notified the FDA that they are voluntarily stopping the supply of this tablet formulation. However, the film version of Suboxone continues to be produced and prescribed for opioid dependence. Suboxone film contains the same ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone, as the discontinued tablets.
What Are the Requirements to Join a Suboxone Class-Action Lawsuit?
If you have suffered dental disease or injury due to taking Suboxone, it’s important to understand how to join a class-action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are designed to hold companies accountable for misleading and deceiving their customers. When a case settles, the class action lawyer handling the case will collect a percentage of the total settlement or a fee award separate from the settlement. The lawyer will receive a payment for valuable legal services, and members of the class action lawsuit will receive a percentage of the total amount awarded.
How to Join a Suboxone Class-Action Lawsuit in Illinois
When a group of individuals shares a common grievance or legal claim against a particular entity, they may choose to pursue a class action lawsuit. This type of legal action allows numerous people with similar claims to come together and collectively seek justice for a wrongful action. In Illinois, class action lawsuits play a role in addressing various legal matters that impact groups of people. Class action lawsuits are commonly filed to resolve issues with consumer fraud, defective products, and workplace discrimination.
To initiate a class action lawsuit in Illinois, a lead plaintiff or a group of individuals must first file a complaint with the appropriate court. The complaint should outline the alleged misconduct or harm caused by the defendant. It is crucial to demonstrate that the claims of the class members share common legal and factual issues.
After the initial complaint is filed, the court evaluates whether the case meets the requirements for class certification. The court considers factors such as the type of claim, the number of class members, common questions of law or fact, and the role of the lead plaintiff or plaintiffs. If the court grants class certification, the lawsuit proceeds as a class action.
Notice and Opt-Out Period
Once a class action is certified, the court orders a notice to be sent to potential class members. This notice informs them about the pending lawsuit and their right to participate in the class action or to opt out. The opt-out period allows individuals to exclude themselves from the class and pursue individual legal action with an Illinois personal injury attorney if they wish.
Settlement Negotiations and Approval
At any stage of the Suboxone class action lawsuit, the parties may engage in settlement negotiations to reach a resolution and resolve the case without going to trial. If a settlement agreement is reached, it must be presented to the court for approval. The court will evaluate the fairness of the settlement and the adequacy of the settlement to ensure it benefits the class members.
Litigation and Trial
If the lawsuit proceeds to trial, both parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, must present their arguments, evidence, and witnesses before a judge or jury. Since the plaintiff’s team must prove the defendant’s liability and the extent of damages suffered by the class members, it’s essential to choose a lawyer for a class action lawsuit. The defendant’s lawyers will aim to challenge the claims and minimize the damages.
Benefits of Joining a Suboxone Class-Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits offer several advantages. They provide access to justice for individuals who may not have the resources to pursue individual legal claims against the guilty party. Class actions also promote efficiency by consolidating multiple claims into a single lawsuit, reducing the time spent in court to prove your case, the costs of trial litigation, and the time it takes to get results. Additionally, class action lawsuits are beneficial because they can hold large corporations accountable for their actions and deter future misconduct or wrongdoing that may cause harm to other people.
Class action Suboxone lawsuits serve as a powerful tool for addressing widespread legal issues and providing justice to numerous individuals who suffer serious dental problems caused by a company’s misconduct. These lawsuits hold companies accountable for their actions and allow victims to pursue their claims with fair and efficient results. Plaintiffs can pursue their claims collectively as a group without the costs of pursuing a private lawsuit. Understanding the legal process and implications of class actions is essential for both potential class members and companies facing such lawsuits.
What Are Some Challenges Involved in Participating in a Class-Action Lawsuit?
While class action lawsuits have their benefits, there are drawbacks to consider. The distribution of damages may result in individual class members receiving relatively small compensation. Additionally, the lengthy legal process and potential delays can extend the time it takes to resolve the lawsuit. Moreover, defendants may choose to settle the case to avoid the risk of a substantial verdict.
Class action lawsuits can have a significant impact on companies. Beyond the financial implications of damages or settlements, these lawsuits often lead to a company’s damaged image and reputation and increased scrutiny. Companies who face class action lawsuits typically need to implement changes in their business practices or product safety measures to prevent future litigation.
Class action lawsuits in Illinois are subject to certain time limitations, referred to as the statute of limitations, a required time limit allowed to file a claim. There are also requirements for class certification. It’s important to consult a lawyer in Illinois who handles class action lawsuits and knows the statute of limitations and other priorities required by the court. If court rules and regulations are not followed, you will not be able to pursue your case.