my father just passed away last Sunday from an overdose of Morphine that he was prescribed with Lortab. These two drugs are clearly not meant to be taken together and caused his heart to stop beating. While we have not yet received the autopsy, with just this information alone does it look like i possibly have a case? or is more information definitely needed?
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. You may have a case, depending on what the prescriptions were, who was administering the medications, where he was when he took the medications, etc. Contact a local medical malpractice/wrongful death attorney and go over everything that happened. They should be able to give you a better idea after hearing all the facts. Basically, to win the case, you would need to show that the doctor or healthcare provider was negligent and that their negligence caused your father's death. Let me know if you have any additional questions. I'm an Illinois attorney, but I can recommend someone in your area. Feel free to contact me.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
I am not licensed in WV and you should contact a local lawyer to advise you of the state law. I am truly sorry for your loss. The autopsy report will be crucial to the review and evaluation of the estate's (your mother's)claim. The examiner will have to relate the cause of your father's death to the combination of drugs. Make sure (if they do not already have them) that you save the remaining pills and bottles so that it can be shown that your father took the prescriptions as they were prescribed. You are right that Morphine and one of the components of Lortab are both central nervous system depressants. They reduce the respiratory drive and it is likely that your father suffered respiratory failure and then cardiac failure. That is what you should look for in the report. Any respiratory conditions that your father may have had prior will be used by the defense to suggest otherwise.
Contact a local lawyer and provide the autopsy report. God bless you and your family.