Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Woman sues over addiction

Drug led to deceptive act, she claims

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Days before she is scheduled for sentencing on criminal charges involving OxyContin, a Hamilton woman sued the drug's manufacturers, promoters, distributors and retailers.

        In the suit, filed Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, LaDonna Howland's attorneys say addiction to the drug can lead to “self-destructive and criminal acts.”

        Ms. Howland, 33, last month pleaded guilty to 10 counts of deception to obtain a dangerous drug, half of which involved OxyContin and half, hydrocodone. She could receive probation or up to 12 1/2 years in prison when sentenced Thursday by Judge Keith Spaeth.

        One of several lawyers who worked on the suit, Stan Chesley of Cincinnati, said Ms. Howland was prescribed OxyContin after a 1999 auto accident, then resorted to deception to obtain it after she was hooked.

        The drug is supposed to be used by
cancer patients and others suffering from extreme, chronic pain, but it has been increasingly abused because it can produce a heroin-like high.

        The suit says Ms. Howland was prescribed OxyContin for about a year and a half after a 1999 auto accident.

        “(She) suffered from addiction and withdrawal symptoms as well as other adverse consequences,” says The suit also seeks class-action status to represent other Butler Countians and Ohioans who claim harm from the drug.

        Some lawsuits have been filed on behalf of people who died, allegedly as a result of OxyContin abuse.


2 men die in latest act of gun violence
Tot-shooting suspect has long rap sheet
Heat, smog alert continue
Panel backs cut in levy request
PULFER: Cincinnati third most misspelled
Officials to survey storm damage
Study finds playgrounds safer, but not enough
Ujima boosts restaurants
Children's to receive arthritis grants
School board approves budget, salary increases for principals
Cancer-preventing nutrients?
Expo aims to protect the elderly
Local Digest
Man dies in hotel pool
State official to supervise tech programs
West High offers college courses
- Woman sues over addiction
Church appeals permit rejection
Meth lab found in Deerfield Twp.
Officer kills armed man at rest stop
Shoplifting suspects skip out on hearing
Homefest features luxury
Kentucky Digest
Killing suspect could return
Nontraditional learning center growing
Extreme-sports park bigger than planned
Father sentenced in endangering case