North East, MD asked in Personal Injury and Criminal Law for Maryland

Q: Can I bring a civil suit against the woman who sold my daughter OxyContin?

A colleague (lives in Harford County) of my daughter (lives in Cecil County), sold my daughter Rx OxyContin for almost a year. The seller is a known doctor-shopper and drug seeker, and through her actions of selling her Rx has contributed to my daughter’s ongoing ill physical and mental health, and serious problems with her job and family.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You cannot sue on behalf of your adult daughter, nor have you personally suffered a damage that would allow you a direct lawsuit against this person. Your daughter is the alleged victim of this wrongdoing, so she would have to sue in her own name against the responsible party. The problem with her doing so is that nobody held a gun to her head and made her illegally purchase and ingest this controlled narcotic drug. She was an equal participant, certainly in the beginning before becoming addicted, in the illegal purchase, possession and use of the drug. The doctrine of assumption of the risk, and her own intentional/negligent acts in engaging in these illegal activities and contributing to her own addiction, will bar her from claiming damages against this other person. In addition, if your daughter has not already be charged with any crimes arsing out of her illegal purchase and possession of this drug, then she would have to admit guilt to these crimes to pursue her claim, and expose herself to potential criminal prosecution. Your broadcasting of her crimes, however well intentioned, may attract unwanted attention to her criminal involvement and result in her arrest and possible incarceration.

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