Counties, cities, and states across the country are suing the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid crisis. Most lawsuits are targeting drug manufacturing giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Inc., and McKesson. According to many lawsuits, the companies failed to follow federal guidelines and “knowingly, recklessly, and/or negligently” released drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin to suspicious physicians and pharmacies. Others assert that the ease of access to opioids is what allowed dangerous substances to be sold on the black market resulting in widespread addictions and even deaths across the United States. Many allege that the pharmaceutical companies engaged in fraudulent marketing in an attempt to hide the addictive nature of opioid drugs.
Pharmaceutical companies are being hit with lawsuits from various municipalities all over the country with more cases being filed every month. In Wisconsin alone, more than two dozen counties have filed complaints. Similarly, attorney generals in Ohio and Mississippi also filed suits against companies on behalf of their entire state. Four cities in West Virginia are also preparing a class action lawsuit against non-profit accreditation group, The Joint Commission. They allege that The Joint Commission knowingly released misinformation about opioid drugs, at the direction of drug makers, which helped to fuel this epidemic. In a wide spread initiative, attorney generals across 41 states announced they are joining forces to investigate manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers.
The initial increase in the opioid drug industry was stated to treat patients with short-term and chronic pain. However, the abuse of these opioid drugs has increased at alarming rates in just a few years. In 2005, over 12,900 people died of overdoses from opioid drugs. This number has skyrocketed to over 20,100 opioid overdose deaths in 2015. In 2016 alone, there were over 214 million prescriptions written for some type of opioid drug. This is the equivalent of approximately 66 opioid prescriptions per 100 people.
Opioid drugs can cause long lasting addictions and lead to serious injury or death. If you or someone you know has been affected by using opioids, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling these cases to ensure that companies are held fully accountable. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.