CHARLESTON — A lawsuit was filed against drug manufactures by the guardian of an infant who was born addicted to opioids.
Stephen New of the Law Office of Stephen New said it’s common knowledge the devastation opioids have caused for West Virginians.
"It’s also common knowledge that West Virginia leads the nation in non-parents, either grandparents, legal guardians or someone other than natural parents raising children who are born addicted," New said in an interview with The West Virginia Record. "My law firm and the team of lawyers I work with are honored to be at the forefront of representing these innocent victims—the children born addicted to these opioids in this struggle against these large corporations."
The lawsuit names big companies such as McKesson, Cardinal Health, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals and AmerisourceBergen.
In the lawsuit, Stacey Harris is suing on behalf of an infant she cares for, known in the complaint as N.M.B. The complaint was filed Sept. 30 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
When N.M.B. was born, the infant was diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and suffered from the moment the infant was born due to withdrawal from the opioids they were exposed to during pregnancy, according to the suit.
The infant spent painful days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and endured detoxification, the complaint states.
"Baby N.M.B.'s experience is part of an opioid epidemic sweeping through the United States, including West Virginia, that has caused thousands of infants great suffering and continuing developmental issues," the complaint states. "This epidemic is the largest health care crisis in U.S. history."
Harris brings the suit to eliminate the hazard to public health and safety caused by the opioid epidemic and to abate the nuisance caused by the defendants’ false, negligent and unfair marketing and/or unlawful diversion of prescription opioids.
Harris is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is represented by New; Kevin Thompson and David R. Barney Jr. of Thompson Barney Law Firm; Celeste Brustowicz and Stephen Wussow of Cooper Law Firm; Donald E. Creadore of Creadore Law Firm; Scott R. Bickford and Spencer R. Doody of Martzell Bickford & Centola; and Kent Harrison Robbins of the Law Offices of Kent Harrison Robbins.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:19-cv-00707