Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of the City of Evergreen, 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 required the city to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. The City of Evergreen 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 P. Richard Hartley of Hartley & Hickman law firm in Greenville, Alabama.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of the City of Greenville, Houston County, Barbour County, Limestone County, and City of Anniston, Alabama, as well as Sumner County, Tennessee. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“This crisis was created by the pharmaceutical industry, which clearly put its interests in profit ahead of concerns for public safety,” Jones said. “They misled doctors and the public about the serious risks associated with these drugs, especially the risk of addiction. As a result, communities are left struggling to cope with the consequences.”
“The opioid epidemic has become so pervasive, almost everyone knows someone who has been touched by it in some way,” Hartley said. “The staggering number of people affected by opioid abuse overwhelms local governments that are trying to provide critical services to help those in need.”
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, Conecuh County, where Evergreen is located, had an opioid prescription rate of 93.9 for every 100 people. Nationally, four Alabama cities rank in the Top 15 places 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 Southern District of Alabama.