Opioid companies are now facing heat from some of the country’s largest school districts seeking damages for expenses they’ve had to shell out for special education, addiction counseling, campus security and employee health insurance caused by the nation’s opioid epidemic, Law360 reports.
Last month, Chicago’s school district filed a proposed class action on behalf of all public school districts as well as all public school districts in Illinois. The lawsuit was filed directly into the huge multidistrict litigation (MDL) brought by local governments across the country blaming opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies for creating and fueling an opioid epidemic. Drug companies named in the suit include Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health Inc., and Walgreen Co.
Chicago’s lawsuit follows another filed by Miami-Dade County’s school board, the country’s fourth-largest school district with 345,000 students. Smaller school districts in Louisiana and Washington state have also filed lawsuits against drug companies over losses sustained in the opioid crisis.
Several of the school districts suing the drug companies point to the added expenses of special education and other services needed for so-called “opioid babies,” or babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition that affects babies born to women who used opioids while pregnant.
The opioid multidistrict litigation began in late 2017, and has expanded to about 2,500 cases by local governments, hospitals, and Native American tribes.
Beasley Allen has an Opioid Litigation Team that includes these lawyers: Rhon Jones, Parker Miller, Ryan Kral, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton, Roger Smith and Jeff Price. This team represents the State of Alabama, the State of Georgia, and numerous local governments, as well as other entities in multidistrict litigation.