Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Montgomery 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 Montgomery County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. Montgomery County is represented by Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section, Jere Beasley, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton and Ryan Kral, along with Montgomery attorneys Tommy Gallion and Tyrone Means.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of a number of Alabama municipalities and counties, as well as several governmental entities in other states. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“The pharmaceutical industry spawned the national opioid epidemic by dumping hundreds of thousands of pills on the market in countless American communities,” said Jones. “It’s marketing campaign, which was built on lies about the drugs’ highly addictive nature, placed an untenable strain on the resources of governments, including Montgomery County.”
“The greed and reckless corporate behavior exhibited by some drugmakers put Montgomery County residents and our community in the crosshairs of the opioid epidemic,” Gallion said. “Responding to emergencies stemming from opioid abuse, overdose and death, as well as crime and neglect resulting from the problem, has strained the resources of Montgomery County. The hard-earned money of taxpayers has been diverted to clean up Big Pharma’s mess and now it is time settle up that debt with the industry.”
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, Montgomery County, had an opioid prescription rate of 88 for every 100 people. Four Alabama cities rank in the Top 15 places in the country 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, Northern Division.