O ur law firm is doing something I wish was not necessary: We’re investigating cases involving opioid-related deaths or overdoses requiring hospitalization. We are partnering and working with some of the best personal injury law firms in the country to see that justice is done for individuals and families who have been harmed by the opioid epidemic. Opioids are arguably the most addictive drugs on our planet. We won’t be alone in this fight. Many states, counties, and government entities have already filed suits against pharmaceutical companies to recoupmoney they have spent on substance abuse treatment programs, hospital services, emergency medical services, and law enforcement. Many experts believe the opioid crisis was caused by the pharmaceutical industry misleading doctors and the public about the risks of opioid prescription drugs, and the drug companies ignored the risk of addiction to reap billions inmonetary gains. If you are like me, you have been touched by the American opioid epidemic. My heart aches for families who have lost loved ones because of opioid overdoses and for innocent people who have been prescribed opioids for pain, only to become addicted. I have good friends who have lost sons and daughters, and I have relatives who have become drug dependent and addicted.
such as arthritis and back pain, despite the addiction risks. Unfortunately, various pharmaceutical companies jumped at this opportunity and oftenmisled doctors with inaccurate marketing information about the safety of opioids. Many drug companies downplayed the incredibly addictive properties of opioidmedications. Opioids are painkillers that include the illegal drug heroin. It should be pointed out that a 2014 study found that 75 percent of heroin users started with painkillers. Opioid drugs can alter a person’s brain. Even regular use prescribed by a physician can lead to dependence.
Here are a few of the legally prescribed opioids:
• • • •
Fentanyl Morphine Codeine Tramadol
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Oxycodone (OxyContin) Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Clearly, opioid addiction is a national problem. Use is widespread, and pharmaceutical companies have reaped staggeringmonetary gains. Since pharmaceutical companies were a large part of the problem, it is time they pay the innocent victims (and their families) for the damage caused. If someone you know died or suffered symptoms requiring hospitalization as a result of opioid overdose, call us at 812-231-5128. We will investigate to determine if there is a claim that can be brought against a pharmaceutical company. Attorney fees are only paid if and when there is a recovery. We believe in personal responsibility; however, if a person was prescribed an opioid and became addicted, he or she had no choice. They didn’t choose to become dependent or addicted. The pharmaceutical companies that misled doctors, hospitals, and the public about the safety of these drugs must be held accountable.
The initial purpose of opioid prescriptions was admirable. Originally, opioids were prescribed to ease the pain of dying cancer patients. However, in the early 1990s, it became commonplace for doctors and hospitals to prescribe opioidmedications for chronic pain
Our referrals continue to be one of the best ways clients find us, and we deeply appreciate it! for your trust and confidence.
G. Steven Fleschner, Partner Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin
1 (812) 232-2000
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S p r i y
The start of spring brings everyone’s favorite seasonal chore — spring cleaning! As you dust, vacuum, organize, and declutter, don’t forget about the one room that often gets neglected. This year, give special attention to the utility closet. The utility closet houses your furnace, water heater, A/C junction, and other similar large appliances. Homeowners often forget about these appliances because they are out of sight and out of mind, and this can cost a lot in the long run. Like all the other rooms in your home, this space needs to be kept clean. Dust, for instance, can be hard on HVAC systems. Over time, it accumulates in the HVAC intake and clogs the air filter, reducing its effectiveness and efficiency. This results in a short lifespan for your system, higher power bills, and a poorly heated or cooled home.
Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: 3–6 months .
Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: 2–3 months .
Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: 1–2 months .
In addition to changing the air filter, it’s important to schedule a routine inspection of your home’s HVAC system. This includes an inspection of the appliances themselves and any connecting ducts. Dust, dander, and mold can accumulate in the ducts and spread throughout the home, which can lead to health issues, including respiratory problems. A routine inspection will identify potential problems in your HVAC system. On top of that, you can get these systems professionally cleaned and maintained. These are simple steps that will keep your home’s air systems running smoothly for years to come. Plus, you’ll be ready for the summer months ahead!
How Often Should You Replace Your Air Filter?
Homes with minimal foot traffic (single or double occupancy) and no pets or allergies: 6–12 months .
While the tragic costs of the contemporary opioid crisis have struck the entire country, most experts agree that the root of the epidemic can be traced to a single set of sources: the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the drugs. Right now, several multibillion-dollar drug companies are embroiled in hundreds of lawsuits, many filed by states like NewYork or Ohio. These states claim that pharmaceutical companies knowingly overstate the efficacy and safety of the pills they sell in order to drive up profits. As a result, both doctors and consumers were grossly misled, and we lost — and continue to lose — thousands upon thousands of Americans who overdosed using synthetic opioids, heroin, and painkillers. One suit in Ohio, cited last January in an article by Vox writer German Lopez, perfectly illustrates the blame experts are placing on those pharmaceutical giants. For years, the suit argues, the marketing machines of pharmaceutical manufacturers like Endo and Johnson & Johnson have been flooding the country with misinformation. One American Pain Foundation study sponsored by Purdue and largely funded by opioid manufacturers claimed that the risk of addiction was“less than 1 percent among children prescribed opioids,”according to Lopez. Meanwhile, Janssen distributed a“patient education guide”in 2009 that attempted to undermine the dangerous truth about opioids, claiming they weren’t addictive if used correctly. When False Advertising COSTS LIVES
These are just two small examples. If you do a quick survey of the lawsuits being fought by attorneys and organizations, it’s easy to see the pattern of misleading marketing and manipulation of statistics in support of opioids’capacity for safe relief. This is in spite of a mountain of scientific evidence stating the exact opposite — that opioids are and have always been intensely addictive and dangerous, only to be prescribed in serious cases and under close medical supervision. Though hundreds of settlements have been made with the pharmaceutical companies, the costs of these suits have amounted to little more than the mountains of profit these companies have reaped in recent years. Still, some progress is being made. In February, Purdue Pharma announced it will halt marketing its painkillers to doctors — a small step in the right direction. But the battle isn’t over. We will continue raising awareness of the dangers of opioids, fighting for consumers’rights to know the truth, battling for justice, and demanding accountability for pharmaceutical companies. In the midst of crisis, it’s the right thing to do.
Motorcycle Death Liability We received a motorcycle death case that had many liability issues. The other driver was towing our client’s motorcycle with tow straps, while our client was on the back of the motorcycle. While at an intersection, the bike turned over with our client, resulting in his death. We were able to negotiate and obtain policy limits for his widow. Broken Arm Compensation We negotiated a settlement for our client who suffered a broken arm due to falling at her apartment complex. It took several months to convince the responsible insurance company that it was a result of the aparment management’s negligence. We were also able to reduce our client’s health insurance subrogation lien so that our client would be adequately compensated. Vehicle Collision Recovery Our client was a passenger in a horrific one-vehicle collision wherein he was sent by medical helicopter to an area hospital. He suffered a broken vertebra, which required surgery. This client had medical bills in excess of the at-fault party’s insurance limits. We were able to obtain substantial reductions from Medicare and his medical providers to increase our client’s net recovery. Motorcycle Collision Settlement We were able to negotiate and obtain a settlement for a husband and wife injured in a motorcycle collision wherein they both sustained serious injuries. After months of struggling with their health insurance, we were able to get their insurance to make payments on their medical bills and settle the claim, increasing both of their net recoveries. success stories
a n n C o
Stephanie Bartlett has been a part of the FSTN family for almost 20 years. We love it when she brings in cookies, particularly when they’re oatmeal raisin. They are the best.
2 sticks (1/2 pound) margarine or butter, softened
• • • • • •
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
• • •
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups oats 1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. 3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. 4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. 5. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. 6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. 7. Bake 10–12 minutes or until golden brown. 8. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.
3 (812) 232-2000
Adapted from delish.com.
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201 Ohio Street Terre Haute, IN 47807
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The Opioid Epidemic — An American Tragedy Spring Clean Your Utility Room How False Advertising Caused the Opioid Crisis Success Stories Stephanie’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies St. Patrick’s Day vs. the Color Green
St. Patrick’s Day GREEN Dominates for a Reason
There’s only one day of the year you’ll be scorned for not wearing green: St. Patrick’s Day. If you’ve ever gone the whole holiday wearing any other color, you’ve probably been pinched by your peers, family, spouse, and anyone else decked out head to toe in green. Green has become so deeply associated with the St. Patrick holiday that many people are unaware that green wasn’t always its official color. Blue was the first color to symbolize St. Patrick’s Day, and the saint himself is almost always depicted dressed in what’s known as “St. Patrick’s blue.” What caused the shift from blue to green is more speculation than hard fact. Some have theorized that the change happened sometime in the 17th century, when the symbol for the United Irishmen Rebellion became the clover. St. Patrick used the clover to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity, and it eventually became a symbol that represented both the saint and the holiday.
Another theory comes from Ireland’s nickname, “The Emerald Isle,”which was coined because of the plentiful green foliage that adorns the country’s landscape. It also relates to the green in the flag. Each of the three colors in the flag have their own symbolic meaning: green for the Catholics who live in the country, orange for the Protestants, and white for the peace between the two. Of course, you can’t forget leprechauns, the little creatures that have always been affiliated with the holiday. But just like St. Patrick’s original blue garb, these impish tricksters used to wear red instead of green. While green overtook blue as the shade of choice for St. Patrick, leprechauns began putting on their signature green suits.
You might wonder where the tradition of pinching comes from. We can thank the leprechauns for this one. It’s said that if the gold-loving redheads caught you not wearing their favorite color, they would pinch you. To avoid pinches from leprechauns and people alike, be sure to put on some green this St. Patrick’s Day to blend in with the festive crowd.
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