HOUSTON CO., AL (WSFA) - Lawyers from Beasley Allen are representing the city of Greenville and Houston County in lawsuits filed against opioid manufacturers.
The complaints allege the marketing of these drugs contributed to the creation of the opioid epidemic, a public health and safety crisis. As a result of responding to the opioid crisis within its communities, the city of Greenville and Houston County claim they've sustained economic damages and continue to incur a significant financial burden.
"These manufacturers aggressively pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids, turning patients into addicts for their own corporate profits. The manufacture and distribution of these dangerous drugs, along with the intentional misrepresentation to doctors and the public about their risks, breached these companies' legal duties under federal and state law. Rather than investigate suspicious orders of prescription opiates, they simply pocketed the profits at the expense of the public," said Rhon Jones.
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 overdoes 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.
"It is a nuisance and a dangerous thing that cost not only the city but also the other citizens because of the terrible affects the need for the drugs has," said Richard Hartley, Greenville City Attorney.
At first glance leaders from Greenville and Houston County are pleased with the action taken.
"The opioid crisis is real and impacts our city. We hope this lawsuit will help us to deal with all of the burdens that have been imposed on us," said Dexter McLendon, Mayor of Greenville.
"The opioid crisis is a very real problem in our county. We want to build awareness of the problem and create a means to help those impacted," said Mark Culver, Chairman of the Houston County Commission.
Defendants include Purdue Pharm a 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 Pharmaceutica 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.