Beasley Allen has filed an opioid lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors on behalf of the City of Tuskegee, 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 founder Jere Beasley and lawyers Rhon E. Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section, LaBarron Boone, Rick Stratton, Ryan Kral and Jeff Price, along with Tuskegee lawyer Milton C. Davis.
Beasley Allen has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of a larger number of Alabama municipalities and counties, as well as governmental entities in several other states including Tennessee and Georgia. The firm also is representing the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
“The pharmaceutical industry flooded the market with highly addictive opioids under the false belief that because they were prescribed, they were safe” said Beasley. “Local governments’ already scarce resources have been stretched beyond limits, costing over $500 billion dollars annually to fight the complex problems associated with opioid addiction. We are especially honored to represent the people of Tuskegee.”
“Tuskegee has been held hostage by the pharmaceutical industry. Fighting the epidemic is draining our local resources and it all comes down to greed,” Davis said. “The time has come for the madness to end, and those responsible to own up to their role in ripping apart families and communities.”
“Communities are struggling to respond to the demands of the opioid epidemic,” Boone said. “The pharmaceutical industry created this problem by putting profits over people when they chose not to investigate suspicious prescription opiate orders. Those responsible deliberately misled doctors and the public of the risks, and they left municipal governments struggling to cope with the consequences. I too am especially honored to have the opportunity to represent the people of Tuskegee.”
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, Macon County, where the City of Tuskegee is located, had an opioid prescription rate of 60.1 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.