Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Cleburne County, Alabama, alleging the marketing of these drugs contributed to the creation of the opioid epidemic, a public health and safety crisis. Responding to the opioid crisis has required Cleburne County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. Cleburne County is represented by Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon E. Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton, Ryan Kral and Jeff Price, along with Anniston, Alabama, attorney, Jason C. Odom.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of a number of Alabama municipalities and counties, as well as Sumner County, Tennessee, and Catoosa County, Georgia. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“Clearly, the opioid epidemic that continues to rage throughout the country was unleashed by greedy pharmaceutical companies that lied to doctors, consumers and the public,” said Jones. “Their actions set in motion a domino effect whereby excessive amounts of highly addictive pills flooded into our communities. Then, without warning, people became addicted and the spiraling effects of addiction followed. Local municipalities and counties, like Cleburne County, watched as their costs to address the many facets of opioid addiction skyrocketed – costing taxpayers $500 billion nationwide.”
“The opioid crisis has needlessly claimed too many lives, torn apart too many families and highjacked too many critical resources within Cleburne County and across the country,” said Odom. “Pharmaceutical companies responsible for this disaster can reject the truth and refuse to admit their guilt, but they will answer for they have done.”
Economic damages resulting from the opioid epidemic include costs for providing medical care, therapeutic care and treatments for patients suffering from opioid-related addiction or disease, including overdoses and deaths; costs for providing counseling and rehabilitation services; costs for treating infants born with opioid-related medical conditions; public safety and law enforcement expenses; and care for children whose parents suffer from opioid-related disability or incapacitation.
In 2016, Cleburne County had an opioid prescription rate of 44.2 for every 100 people. Four Alabama cities rank in the Top 15 in the nation with the highest rates of opioid abuse – Anniston, Gadsden, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. Nationally, opioids are responsible for killing more than 183,000 people since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2016 alone, 42,000 people in the U.S. died from opioid overdoses.
Defendants include Purdue Pharma L.P.; Purdue Pharma, Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, LTD.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. n/k/a Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc. n/k/a Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Noramco, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Allergan PLC f/k/a Actavis PLS; Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. n/k/a Actavis, Inc.; Watson Laboratories, Inc.; Actavis, LLC; Actavis Pharm a, Inc. f/k/a Watson Pharma, Inc.; Mallinckrodt plc; Mallinckrodt LLC; McKesson Corporation; Cardinal Health, Inc.; and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation.
The complaint is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.