CITY OF LAKEPORT SUES OPIOID MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS FOR OPIOID EPIDEMIC
The Lakeport Police Department reports the recent filing of a lawsuit by the city against opioid manufacturers –
“The City of Lakeport filed a lawsuit against the opioid manufacturers and distributors for creating the opioid epidemic in the City of Lakeport, joining a consortium of 35 California counties and cities to do so. The City of Lakeport has retained the national law firm of Baron & Budd and a joint venture of law firms to represent its interests, seeking an abatement remedy in addition to legal damages for taxpayer money spent providing social resources in response to the crisis. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California, Case No. 1:20-cv-04007.
The California Opioid Consortium now includes 36 counties and cities, representing approximately 11.2 million residents. All 36 counties and cities have filed suits in federal court and the cases have been transferred into the Multi-District Litigation in Ohio, where over 2,800 public entities have filed similar suits.
“The City seeks to recovery taxpayer funds used to respond to the opioid epidemic,” says City of Lakeport City Manager Margaret Silveira. “Local government services have been subsidizing the impact of the opioid epidemic, created by irresponsible multi-billion dollar corporations, which have placed profits over public safety.” “Taxpayer funds include significant police resources having been spent in responding to the devastating effects of opioids in our community.” said Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen. According to the California Department of Health, Lake County has endured 21 deaths due to opioid overdoses in 2018, giving it an opioid overdose death rate of 22.7 per 100,000 people, the highest rate in the State.
The California Opioid Consortium and its counsel have developed evidence that many of the nation’s largest drug manufactures misinformed doctors about the addictiveness and efficacy of opioids. The 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 City’s entire legal team includes the law firms of Baron & Budd; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor; Powell & Majestro; Farrell Law; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; McHugh Fuller Law Group. The firms currently represent over 700 cities and counties throughout the United States.”