Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Shelby County, 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 harmed Shelby County in the loss of taxpayer dollars and it continues to bear a significant financial burden. Shelby County 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 Frank C. (Butch) Ellis, Jr., and J. Bentley (Bent) Owens, II of Ellis, Head, Owens & Justice in Columbiana, Alabama.
Beasley Allen and Rhon Jones are also representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals. “It is a great honor to represent Shelby County, Alabama,” Jones said.
“Shelby County is one of the most important counties in Alabama, economically, job wise and in number of residents,” Jones continued. “This crisis has impacted Shelby County in a major way and those responsible for this crisis should be held accountable. People are dying on a regular basis due to this crisis. It is time for that to stop or at a minimum be greatly reduced.”
“Communities like Shelby County are reeling under the impact of the opioid epidemic, struggling to provide essential services for those affected,” Ellis said. “This puts a strain on manpower and financial resources, as the county also must maintain its day-to-day operations. The opioid makers and distributors created this burden; they should have to help carry the load.”
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, Shelby County had an opioid prescribing rate of 100.7 for every 100 people – just slightly more than one prescription for every person in the county, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 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, Southern Division, case number 2:18-cv-469-SGC.