Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of the City of Midfield, 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 the city to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. The city 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 Birmingham attorney David A. Sullivan.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of a number of Alabama municipalities, as well as Sumner County, Tennessee. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“The national opioid epidemic is a perfect example of what happens when greedy and careless drug companies are left to their own devices,” said Jones. “Not every pharmaceutical company is irresponsible. Yet, those that have acted recklessly by flooding the market with highly addictive opioids have cost the country $504 billion dollars – taxpayer dollars. Local governments, like the City of Midfield, have stretched and drained their resources to salvage their communities in the wake of Big Pharma’s opioid curse.”
“From the services provided to help those suffering from addiction, to the limitation placed on our economic growth, widescale use and misuse of opioids has eaten away portions of our community,” Sullivan said. “The City of Midfield is resilient, and its residents are tenacious. We will reclaim what was taken from our hardworking residents by holding greedy drug companies 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, Jefferson County, where the City of Midfield is located, had an opioid prescription rate of 116.7 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 Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division.