Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) refers to a series of medical complications that occur when a mother uses prescription drugs during her pregnancy. The most common result is the baby suffering from withdrawals from the drugs they were exposed to in the womb.
If you were prescribed an opioid during your pregnancy, and your child exhibits NAS symptoms, you might benefit from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney with experience handling NAS opioid lawsuits could help determine your eligibility for financial compensation.
Proving Liability in NAS Claims
Using opioids during pregnancy could have serious consequences for the child. Withdrawal from powerful painkillers during this time can cause short and long-term effects for babies that warrant legal action.
A range of parties could be responsible for these injuries. In some cases, the mother of the newborn might be liable for damages, especially if she obtained the prescription drugs illegally. Other times, plaintiffs claim that negligent doctors, prescription drug companies, or government agencies are to blame.
The Center for Disease Control advises women to seek medical advice before conceiving. However, should a doctor provide insufficient warning of possible NAS complications, the expectant mother may be able to point to the doctor’s omission of the drug warning as proof of negligent care.
Opioid claims can also be filed against the original prescriber of the pharmaceutical drug. Claimants may argue that the drug manufacturer or the government agency regulating the drug manufacturer failed to disclose the risk of an infant developing an opioid addiction.
To prove negligence on the part of the defendant, the complainant will need to prove that the individual, manufacturer, or agency had a responsibility to keep the plaintiff safe and failed to do so. In a NAS opioid lawsuit, an attorney would need to prove this breach of duty directly resulted in the injury.
Economic Damages in NAS Cases
Unfortunately, NAS can cause lasting complications for newborns. Liver and heart function may be limited, or in serious cases, the baby can experience organ failure.
Typically, children born with NAS are underweight. This can affect the newborn’s oxygen intake, thermal regulation, and weight gain. These require expensive neonatal hospital care and follow-up treatments. Children living with NAS are also more likely to require expensive prescription medications.
A NAS opioid plaintiff may be able to recover compensation for the additional medical treatments and required prescriptions in a lawsuit. A dedicated lawyer could help a plaintiff gather evidence of these additional costs.
Possible Non-economic Damages
Non-economic damages may also apply to some NAS lawsuits. These damages could help cover the pain and suffering of the child overcoming opioid addiction. The family could also face emotional trauma from the harm done to the infant. A seasoned attorney could help a plaintiff calculate their potential non-economic damages.
Contact a NAS Opioid Attorney for Guidance
Do not blame yourself for your newborn’s conditions. In many cases, NAS is a sign of systematic failures on the part of the medical sector. A NAS opioid lawsuit could help you recover the necessary compensation to take care of your infant. Call an attorney today.