Opioid Lawsuit Seeks Recovery of Tax Dollars, Compensation From Drug Manufacturers

The Beasley Allen Firm and The CK Hoffler Firm filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors on behalf of the City of Flint, Michigan, alleging the marketing of these drugs in Flint contributed to the creation of the opioid epidemic, a public health and safety crisis in the City. 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 Tricia (CK) Hoffler, along with the Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon E. Jones, Navan Ward, Ryan Kral, Jeff Price and Will Sutton.

“We filed this lawsuit because, like other communities across the country, the opioid epidemic has left a terrible mark on the City of Flint,” said Flint Mayor Dr. Karen W. Weaver. “The problems that accompany opioid addiction, including overdose, crime, and sadly, death, force the City to spend money to address emergencies to protect its citizens. While it has clearly strained our resources, and created yet another challenge for our community, I have no doubt that our resilience and persevering nature will help us rebuild in the wake of this devastating crisis. But, the first step in the recovery process is to demand that pharmaceutical companies and others be held accountable.”

Beasley Allen and CK Hoffler have filed similar lawsuits on behalf of individuals, municipalities, counties, and other government entities in multiple states. In fact, the Beasley Allen firm has a robust opioid practice in various states including Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, including its representation of the State of Alabama in its opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.

“The pharmaceutical industry consistently refused to investigate suspicious orders of prescription opiates and turned a blind eye in favor of making a profit,” said Hoffler. “They put profits over people, and they intentionally misled doctors and the public about the risks of these dangerous drugs, and municipal governments are left struggling to cope with the consequences. In addition to its huge toll on human life, the opioid epidemic has an economic cost of about $504 billion annually to communities throughout the country. The impact of their conduct is devastating and they need to be held accountable. ”

“The opioid epidemic has become so pervasive, it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t been touched by it in some way,” said Angela Wheeler, the City Attorney for Flint. “As a result, communities like the City of Flint are struggling to provide services to the overwhelming numbers of people affected by the opioid epidemic. It is a huge strain on resources and the opioid makers and distributors must be held accountable for unleashing this curse upon the nation and countless communities.”

In 2016, Genesee County, where the City of Flint is located, had an opioid prescribing rate of 119.7 for every 100 people, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The City of Flint is among the 10 Michigan cities with the highest number of drug-related overdose deaths between 2013 and 2015. Nationally, opioids are responsible for killing more than 183,000 people since 1999, according to the 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 Pharma, 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 Eastern District of Michigan.

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