Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Blount County, Alabama. The lawsuit alleges 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 harmed Blount County in the loss of taxpayer dollars and it continues to bear a significant financial burden. Blount County is represented by Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon E. Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton and Ryan Kral,along William Jefferson Sherrer of Brunson, Barnett & Sherrer, P.C. in Oneonta, Alabama.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of a number of Alabama municipalities, as well as Sumner County, Tennessee. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“Opioid manufacturers and distributors have put profits above people, promoting these dangerously addictive drugs when they knew the risks,” Jones said. “As a result, communities throughout Alabama – and the nation – are left struggling under the weight of an opioid epidemic that drains their time and resources.”
“Communities like Blount County are left to deal with the fallout of widespread opioid addiction, which requires a huge commitment of public services,” Sherrer said. “This makes residents vulnerable to harm when limited resources are stretched too thin. The opioid manufacturers created this crisis. They should take responsibility for the consequences.”
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, Blount County had an opioid prescribing rate of 56.9 for every 100 people, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nationally, opioids are responsible for killing more than 183,000 people since 1999, according to the 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, Southern Division.