Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Butler 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 Butler County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. Butler 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 with Greenville, Alabama attorney, Calvin Poole, III of Poole & Poole.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of the City of Greenville, Houston County, Barbour County, Limestone County, City of Anniston, City of Evergreen, the Town of Yellow Bluff, City of Georgiana, Town of McKenzie, City of Abbeville, and Chambers County, Alabama, as well as Sumner County, Tennessee. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“The pharmaceutical industry lied and profited, hand over fist, for the highly addictive drugs it pushed on unassuming patients,” Jones said. “It created our national opioid epidemic and should have to answer for the pain and suffering they caused and repay the tax dollars local governments expended to clean up the industry’s mess.”
“While Big Pharma executives sit comfortably isolated in their offices and board rooms, Butler County’s first responders, hospitals and other local government agencies faced, firsthand, the devastation of the pharmaceutical industry’s reprehensible actions,” Poole said. “Butler County has taken care of the brokenness our community suffered because of opioid addiction, but we will not be left holding the bag. The pharmaceutical industry must face the music and pay for its lies and greed.”
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, Butler County had an opioid prescription rate of 135.4 for every 100 people, among counties with the highest prescription rates in the state. 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 2015 alone, 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses – more than guns, car crashes and HIV/AIDS ever killed in one year in the U.S.
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 Middle District of Alabama, Northern Division.