Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Mother Of 3 for Opioid Death

Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Mother Of 3 for Opioid Death

January 17, 2017 | Opioid Crisis

Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, on behalf of the family of a St. Louis woman, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the Circuit of the City of St. Louis, after Karey Kaemmerer, 32, and a mother of three, tragically overdosed after taking prescription opioid pain medications.

In the years before her death, like millions of Americans, Karey battled an addiction to prescription opioid medications.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 1.9 million people in the United States suffered from addiction related to prescription opioid pain medications in 2013. [1]

The complaint alleges that three local St. Louis hospitals, St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Mercy Hospital – JFK Clinic, and St. Clare Hospital as well as local Walgreens pharmacies provided negligent and careless medical care in continuing to provide prescription opioids pain medications to Ms. Kaemmerer despite her addiction.  The complaint alleges that not only did the defendants improperly continue to prescribe Ms. Kaemmerer with prescription opioids, but also carelessly provided Karey with her mother’s prescriptions, despite being advised by her mother not to do so.

Opioid based pain medications were first developed and reserved for the most severe forms of pain, such as patients suffering from cancer-related symptoms.  However, since the 1990s, the pharmaceutical and medical community have aggressively marketed these drugs as non-addictive medications suitable for all types of pain symptoms.  This lead to a dramatic surge in Americans prescribed opioid pain medications.  Recently, the nation has become more aware of the aggressive marketing tactics of opioid manufacturers.  For example, the manufacturer of OxyContin was recently fined $635 million dollars for misleading the public.  However, opioids are still prescribed at an alarming rate.

A growing number of Americans continue to experience firsthand how opioid addiction tears apart families and ruins lives.  According to the Center for Disease Control, drug overdose deaths nearly tripled nationwide from 1999 to 2015– which was primarily a result of the increase of prescription opioids.[2]  In 2015 alone, 237 people died from opioid overdose in Missouri.  Despite this surge in deaths from opioids, Missouri remains the only state in the nation without a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Patients rely on their physicians and pharmacies to act as gatekeepers to ensure they are proper candidates for these medications.  Millions of Americans who have fallen victim to the disease of prescription opioid addiction as they rely upon the medical community to recognize the signs of addiction and help them avoid addiction and overdose.

The complaint alleges counts of medical and pharmacy malpractice. It seeks to recover damages to compensate the victim’s family, including her children. Karey left behind three young daughters, ages 12, 4 and 17 months, whom are now being raised by their grandmother.

Plaintiffs are represented by Paul Napoli, Shayna Sacks, and Joseph Ciaccio of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. We continue to investigate potential cases for clients who have been victimized by the prescription opioid epidemic.

If you suffer from prescription opioid addiction or have lost a loved one as the result of addiction, we encourage you to contact Napoli Shkolnik PLLC to review your legal options.


[1] https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/what-federal-government-doing-to-combat-opioid-abuse-epidemic

[2] Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report – “Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths – United States, 2010-2015” – December 30th, 2016 – https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm655051e1.htm

Image Courtesy of Judy Christesen (Ms. Kaemmerer’s mother)

Lawsuit Filed On Behalf Of Mother Of 3 for Opioid Death
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