America's Opioid Crisis

Opioids are a powerful, highly addictive class of drugs, including methadone, oxycodone (found in OxyContin® and Percocet®), hydrocodone (found in Vicodin®), fentanyl, codeine, morphine, and heroin. The majority of these drugs are prescribed legally, intended for pain management. However, their addictive nature can lead to long-term dependence and drug abuse.

In recent decades, opioid prescriptions — and addiction — have skyrocketed in the United States. In 1999 alone, the overall number of opioid painkiller prescriptions jumped by over ten million, and just last year opioid overdoses were up by 30%, and that number is still rising. The increase in drug-related deaths has been catastrophic. While drug companies have padded their bottom lines, the result for the rest of us has been a public health crisis.

The rising number of opioid prescriptions combined with their highly addictive nature has led to a massive epidemic across America. This crisis has led to thousands of lawsuits being filed against doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999 along with sales of those prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

Opioid Litigation

The Gallagher Law Firm's litigation team is working closely with local, county and regional governments and other stakeholders across the country in lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful and addictive opioid painkillers. The lawsuits charge that the pharmaceutical industry has fueled dramatic increases in opioid abuse and deaths by indiscriminately flooding rural and urban communities with prescription opioids. The drugs in question include brand names, such as OxyContin and Percocet, as well as generics, such as fentanyl and oxycodone.

With special expertise in multidistrict litigation (MDL) against big pharmaceutical conglomerates, The Gallagher Law Firm has taken the lead in this litigation, which argues that pharmaceutical companies overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks of using opioids, and that distributors failed to monitor suspicious orders of prescription opiates. As a result, local governments have been burdened with a range of costs and services to fight the crisis including treatment centers and medical services for addicted residents.

Reasons for Opioid Lawsuits

Plaintiff claims against pharmaceutical companies allege that:

  • Prescription opioids were responsible for addiction
  • Drug companies hid evidence of the dangers of opioids
  • Drug companies pushed their drugs onto the market via aggressive marketing tactics
  • Drug companies created fake third-party “advocacy” campaigns to falsely advertise the safety of their medications
  • Opioid use has led to negative effects on public health and safety, such as increased crime and cost of government services
  • Pharmacies failed to monitor and report suspicious prescriptions
  • Doctors prescribed opioids irresponsibly

Companies Facing Opioid Lawsuits

  • Allergan
  • AmerisourceBergen Corp
  • Cardinal Health
  • CVS
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals
  • Johnson & Johnson (and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals)
  • McKesson Corporation
  • Purdue Pharma LP
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals (and its subsidiary, Cephalon)
  • Walgreens
  • Wal-mart

Infant Opioid Withdrawal

When opioids were first introduced, alleged misbranding by pharmaceutical companies left mothers and doctors unaware of the terrible side effects they could have on child development. As a result, mothers were taking opioids for pain management or addiction while pregnant or breastfeeding, causing their unborn children to become addicted to the drugs too.

This means that a child who is newly born or stops breastfeeding from a mother who is taking opioids is forced to go through painful and damaging withdrawal in the first few days of its life. This can lead to physical complications, disabilities, psychiatric illness, and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

The Gallagher Law Firm Can Help

If you believe your adopted child was exposed to opioids during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or that you suffered from NAS as in infant, we want to speak with you.

Contact us online today or call (888) 222-7052 to speak in person with lawyers who can get you the justice you deserve.

Opioid Settlement Examples

Mallinckrodt Plc, $35 million — 3/03/2017

Mallinckrodt Plc agreed to pay to resolve an investigation into their monitoring and reporting methods for suspicious orders of controlled substances.

Costco Wholesale, $11.75 million — 1/19/2017

This investigation ended in a settlement over claims that Costco had irresponsibly filled improper or incomplete prescriptions.

McKesson Corporation, $150 million — 1/17/2017

McKesson was found to have violated the Controlled Substances Act, failing to report suspicious orders of controlled drugs.


If you believe you've suffered damages due to opioids, we want to speak with you. We'll consider your dispute and unique scenario alongside the law and put our expertise to work for you. The Gallagher Law firm commits to the success of our clients.

Why Should You Hire Us?

  • Experience

    The Gallagher Law Firm has handled hurricane litigation, both residential and commercial. We have represented clients in both Hurricane Alicia and Hurricane Ike, recovering almost $30 million dollars for commercial clients. We are now accepting Hurricane Harvey cases.

  • Track Record

    Over the course of his storied legal career, Mike Gallagher has rightfully earned a reputation for excellence in successfully handling major litigation. The Gallagher Law Firm has obtained major verdicts and settlements for those injured by environmental disasters, aviation and automobile accidents, general negligence, and dangerous products.  In fact, we obtained the largest verdict rendered in the United States in the Fen Phen litigation.

  • We Fight Hard

    We push. And we push hard. When we get hired, we immediately hire experts to assess the claim, and we consult with you to determine the extent of your damage and the goals for the litigation. We hire our own experts, consultants, and former insurance adjusters so that your team is every bit as qualified - or more - than the team hired by your insurance company. We ensure you have a level playing field, so that you are in the best position to resolve your case. We know how to try cases, and have tried many cases against insurance companies. We know the "games" insurance companies play, and we make sure our clients are not victims of further delay games.


If you believe you've suffered damages due to opioids, we want to speak with you. Let us review your details, evaluate the applicable law and help determine whether you have a valid case. If you do have a claim, we will get to work immediately.