Greenville, Alabama, is the latest city to file a lawsuit against several makers and distributors of highly addictive prescription painkillers in an effort to quell the growing opioid epidemic that is gripping the nation.
Lawyers from Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama on behalf of Greenville. The complaint alleges Greenville’s communities have sustained economic damages and continues to incur a significant financial burden due to drug manufacturers and distributors aggressively pushing “highly addictive, dangerous opioids, turning patients into addicts for their own corporate profits,” said Beasley Allen attorney Rhon E. Jones.
These damages include costs for providing medical care, therapeutic care and treatments for patients suffering from opioid addiction, 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 are disabled or incapacitated due to opioid use.
“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,” Jones said. “Rather than investigate suspicious orders of prescription opiates, they simply pocketed the profits tat the expense of the public.”
Greenville is a city in Butler County, located in south Alabama, with a population of about 8,000. Alabama has the highest level of prescription opioid use in the country, with more than 5.8 million prescriptions written in 2015 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The lawsuit names the following opioid manufacturers and distributors: Purdue Pharma, Purdue Pharma Inc., The Purdue Frederick Company Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries LTD, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Cephalon Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals 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.