Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Dale 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 Dale County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. Dale County is represented by Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon E. Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section, Rick Stratton, Ryan Kral and Jeff Price, along with Ozark, Alabama, attorney Henry B. Steagall, III.
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.
“Opioid makers and distributors created a national health and safety crisis that did not have to happen,” said Jones. “The national opioid epidemic has cut short the lives of thousands of family members, friends and neighbors. It has robbed communities across the country of over $500 billion by forcing local governments to redirect those taxpayer dollars to address the consequences that accompany opioid addiction. Courageous communities, like Dale County, are fighting back and demanding those greedy companies responsible for the epidemic, and its death and destruction, be held accountable.”
“The opioid crisis, created by the pharmaceutical industry, has left its mark upon Dale County,” said Steagall. “The problems that accompany opioid addiction are horrifying and inescapable. We are a community that helps each other, but that help comes with a large price tag. While no amount of money can truly heal the wounds caused by this epidemic, making the reckless companies repay local governments for the resources diverted to address the epidemic-related problems is a step in the right direction.”
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, Dale County had an opioid prescription rate of 78.7 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.