On February 26, 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed in Louisiana against several pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors on behalf of babies born in Louisiana with opioid addictions.
The suit seeks money to cover long-term treatment for the plaintiff and other infants who are born suffering opioid withdrawals.
Defendants named in the lawsuit include Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceuticals among other drug manufacturers and distributors.
The child identified in the suit was born addicted to opioids with a condition called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS. The condition is typically diagnosed in babies that have had chronic fetal exposure to substances that were used or abused by their mother during pregnancy. NAS sets in once the baby is abruptly removed from exposure after birth.
The plaintiff’s mother was prescribed opioid pain killers to treat lower back pain after she was involved in a car accident before becoming pregnant. She became addicted and continued to use opioids, including while she was pregnant. The plaintiff, now 3 years-old, has undergone behavioral, speech and hearing therapy to manage the long-term effects of opioid exposure while in the womb.