TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Proximate Cause?

As we struggle to come up with final exam ideas, TMZ brings us an interesting proximate cause issue. 

DJ AM (aka Adam Goldstein) died back in August from a drug overdose (according to the medical examiner).  His estate, however, has filed a wrongful death claim against various defendants involved in an airline crash back in September 2008.  His estate alleges that  "the crash ultimately caused Adam Goldstein's death" because he was forced to take various drugs to treat the burns he suffered in the crash as well as the emotional distress caused by the crash.  TMZ has more. 

Notably, TMZ also reports that the family of the co-pilot killed in the crash recently settled a claim against the owner and operator of the airplane for $500,000.

Thanks to Meredith Miller for the tip.


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This is an interesting case but I am not sure if it will succeed. OxyContin is legal heroin and used interchangeably with heroin. When people have pain, as he most certainly did, they often take the narcotics with the intention of blocking the pain. The narcotics do not treat the pain but simply act like an anesthetic and prevent you feeling the pain.

There is a condition called opioid induced hyperalgesia where the narcotics actually increase the pain. Then the person feels the need for more anesthetic and this can lead to an overdose.


Posted by: Detoxer | Nov 17, 2009 3:11:57 PM

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