Scott County files suit against prescription opioid manufacturers, distributors

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 6, 2018 at 2:00 PM

NASHVILLE – Scott County recently filed a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturers and distributors to recover taxpayer money spent to combat the opioid epidemic wreaking havoc on the Scott County community. 

The complaint, which was filed in Tennessee federal court, alleges the named opioid drug manufacturers and distributors and their agents deliberately and repeatedly violated state and federal laws by widely and falsely promoting highly addictive opioids as safe and necessary, all the while concealing the true risks of the drugs.

The complaint also alleges defendants conspired to manufacture and distribute millions of doses of highly addictive opioids, knowing they were trafficked and used for illicit purposes, and recklessly disregarded their devastating effect on the taxpayers and government of Scott County. 

As a result of the manufacturers’ and distributors’ conduct, Scott County taxpayers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the opioid crisis and to address the devastating effects on their community.

“Taxpayers in Tennessee have paid more than their fair share to fight the opioids catastrophe created by the multi-billion dollar opioids industry; it’s time the industry paid its fair share,” said attorney Mark Chalos, managing partner with Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein. “Seeking to hold wrongdoers accountable in federal court is the most effective way to make sure that Scott County has a seat at the table for the discussion about recovering tax payer money and finding long-term solutions to the opioids crisis.”

Scott County Mayor Dale Perdue said, “Like so many other cities and communities across the country, the opioid epidemic has been devastating on Scott County. I am hopeful that this lawsuit will allow us to recover the public funds that we have been forced to spend to combat the problems that the opioid manufacturers and distributors are responsible for in our community.”

The named defendants include Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Teva Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Noramco, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions, Mallinckrodt, Allergan, Actavis, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp., Cardinal Health, McKesson Corp. and additional affiliated businesses and entities.

 “The time has come for the manufacturers and distributors of these pernicious opioid pills to face full responsibility for their destructive and predatory conduct,” said attorney Jonathan Taylor with Taylor and Knight. “Their actions – and their knowing inactions – have destroyed lives and families across all of Scott County and indeed, across the entirety of the U.S.”

Formed in 1849, Scott County has a long history of contributions to America. The County is best known for having seceded from Tennessee in protest of the state’s decision to join the Confederacy during the Civil War, and subsequently forming the Free and Independent State of Scott in 1861. The late U.S. Sen. Howard Baker Jr. is Scott County’s most famous citizen. Known as the “Great Conciliator” in Washington, D.C., Baker was the first Republican senator from Tennessee since Reconstruction and became the standard-bearer for moderate Republicans. Scott County currently finds itself at the center of an endless battle to protect all its residents, including its next generation of leaders and citizens, from the opioid epidemic that takes a daily deadly toll in it and counties across the nation.

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