Yuba and Sutter Counties

sue opioid manufacturers

The counties of Yuba and Sutter filed a lawsuit Tuesday May 8, 2018 against opioid manufacturers and distributors for creating the opioid epidemic, joining a consortium of 30 California counties. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of California.

The Boards of Supervisors retained the national law firm of Baron & Budd and a joint venture of law firms to represent its interests, seeking legal damages and other available remedies for taxpayer money spent providing social resources in response to the crisis.

“Yuba County is seeking to recover funds expended in response to the opioid epidemic, which was created by the major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors who placed a priority on profits over the public safety of our citizens.” says Yuba County Counsel Courtney Abril.

Throughout the opioid epidemic, Yuba County and other local jurisdictions have been burdened with related additional costs, mostly in the areas of law enforcement, medical services, and jail and probation management.

The California Opioid Consortium includes 30 counties, representing approximately 10.5 million residents. All 30 counties are filing suit in federal court and expect their cases to be transferred into the Multi-District Litigation in Ohio, where over 500 public entities have filed similar suits.

The California Opioid Consortium and its counsel developed evidence that many of the nation’s largest drug manufactures misinformed doctors about the addictiveness and efficacy of opioids. Manufacturer defendants include Purdue Pharma; Teva Ltd; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson); Endo Health Solutions, Inc.; Allergan PLC; and Mallinckrodt. Drugs manufactured by these companies include, but are not limited to: OxyContin, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Nucynta, Nucynta ER, Opana/Opana ER, Percodan, Percocet, Zydone, Kadian and Norco.

The lawsuit also names the nation’s largest drug distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – which failed to monitor, identify and report “suspicious” opioid shipments to pharmacies, in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The lawsuit also names other large national distributor/retailers.

The County’s entire legal team includes the law firms of Baron & Budd; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor; Powell & Majestro; Greene Ketchum Bailey Farrell & Tweel; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; McHugh Fuller Law Group. The firms currently represent over 300 cities and counties throughout the United States.

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