Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Hale 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 Hale County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. Hale 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 LaBarron Boone, along with attorneys William M. Pompey and Brenda M. Pompey of Pompey & Pompey law firm in Camden, Alabama.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of a number of Alabama municipalities, including the City of Greensboro, which is located in Hale County; as well as Sumner County, Tennessee. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“Drug manufacturers and distributors overstated the benefits of opioid medications while downplaying the risks. As a result, they have created a public health crisis,” Jones said. “Communities like Hale County are struggling to keep up with critical needs while maintaining day-to-day services for its citizens.”
“The opioid epidemic has become so pervasive, it is likely nearly everyone knows someone who has been touched by it,” William Pompey said. “The need and the burden of care is staggering. It is unacceptable that opioid manufacturers and distributors should leave communities to deal with the fallout of the crisis they created.”
“Whether they are personally struggling with opioid addiction or know someone who is, everyone in an affected community pays the price of this national health crisis,” Brenda Pompey said. “Meeting the overwhelming needs of the opioid epidemic stretches resources to the breaking point, putting communities and their residents in danger of falling through the cracks.”
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, Hale County had an opioid prescription rate of 97.7 for every 100 people. 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, Northern Division.