Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Henry 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 Henry County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. Henry 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 Jeff Price, along with Abbeville, Alabama, attorney Spencer W. Danzey of The Danzey Firm, P.C.
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.
“Drug manufacturers and distributors created a public health crisis by overstating the benefits of opioids and downplaying their risks,” said Jones. “The crisis, which has become known as the opioid epidemic, has cost the nation over $500 billion. Henry County, like many other communities, is straining its limited resources to keep up with the needs brought on by this epidemic.”
“The pervasiveness of the opioid crisis is astounding,” said Danzey. “While the pharmaceutical industry flooded our streets with highly addictive opioids, the countless, far-reaching effects of addiction were seeping into our families and have taken a toll on Henry County’s resources. We know there is no simple fix that can take away the death and destruction unleashed on our community, but we can salvage the hope found in our residents’ determination and the community’s tenacious spirit. That begins with holding Big Pharma accountable.”
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, Henry County had an opioid prescription rate of 30.7 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 Middle District of Alabama.