You can’t watch the news these days without hearing about the opioid epidemic. Most people are affected by the opioid crisis in one way or another. Either they’re dealing with their own issues or they have a loved one in the grips of addiction.
For a long time, people continued to ask how the pharmaceutical industry was able to get away with it. For years, they sold millions of pills to pharmacies all over the country. Clearly, they had to know that they were contributing to both the opioid crisis and the black market.
Unfortunately, it all comes down to money. Despite the fact that they knew opioids were dangerously addictive, manufacturers and distributors continued to pump more pills into the hands of doctors and patients.
Finally, the time of reckoning is here. Opioid litigation has taken center stage. There is pending mass tort litigation in over 30 states. Ohio and West Virginia seem to be leading the pack. But it won’t be long before all 50 states join in the filing of opioid lawsuits.
If you or your loved one have been affected by the opioid crisis, you may want to contact a mass tort attorney. It’s important that people involved in the epidemic keep an eye on developments in the opioid litigation.
What is the Basis for the Lawsuit?
The lawsuit is being filed against several parties. The first claim is being filed against three of the biggest opioid manufacturers: Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals and Johnson and Johnson. These companies intentionally downplayed the addictive properties of opiates when they first started to heavily market them in the 1900s.
Healthcare providers prescribed these drugs based on the information given to them by the manufacturers. And, though these companies claimed that they didn’t know opiates were addictive, they admitted in 2007 that they were well aware that the drugs were highly addictive.
A number of doctors have also been listed in the lawsuit. These doctors were actually paid by the drug manufacturers to push these drugs. They would encourage other doctors to prescribe the medications as well.
Distributors Have Also Been Targeted
It’s not just drug manufacturers that are being named in the opioid litigation. Distributors are being named as well. The “Big Three” – AmeriSource Bergen, McKesson Corporation and Cardinal Health have specifically been named in the lawsuits.
These companies continued to aggressively market opioids without exercising due diligence. They didn’t monitor or investigate the number of pills being distributed. They never refused to provide the drugs to an of their pharmacies. And they filed to report suspicious pill orders.
Distributors have a duty to do all of these things. They’re required to make sure the orders they’re filling are legal and legitimate. They also are supposed to monitor distribution to make sure certain pharmacies aren’t receiving too much of any particular drug.
How Are Pharmacies Involved?
It’s not only the manufacturers and distributors that are being mentioned in the lawsuit. Pharmacies will be held accountable as well. Some of the biggest pharmacies, such as CVS, Walmart and Walgreens are being targeted in the opioid litigation.
These pharmacies were selling way more pills than was reasonable. They actually helped create and foster the black market for these highly addictive and legal medications. They did absolutely nothing to ensure that the prescriptions they were filling were valid and legal.
What Will Happen Now?
Now that suit has been filed by so many states, an application has been made to consolidate these cases. The expectation is that this lawsuit will be the biggest drug suit since Big Tobacco in 1998.
The Big Tobacco cases settled for over $250 billion. Experts agree that the opioid litigation will lead to settlement even larger than they did in Big Tobacco. Ironically, Mike Moore, the attorney from Mississippi who handled the tobacco litigation is heading up the opioid litigation as well.
Contact a Mass Tort Lawyer if You Have Questions about Opioid Litigation
If you have any questions about the opioid litigation or believe you may have a claim, contact a mass tort lawyer right away. They can answer any questions you may have. They can also review your case to see if you have a valid claim.
Call Rueb Stoller Daniel today and schedule your initial consultation. You can meet with an experienced mass tort lawyer for free. They’ll let you know what your case may be worth. The consultation is absolutely free and you’ll pay nothing until you settle your case.