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Lawrence County Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers And Distributors
Updated February 6, 2018 1:43 PM
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(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Commissioners have retained the Indianapolis law firm Cohen & Malad, LLP to file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors for their part in the opioid crisis that is ravaging Lawrence County.

The effects of opioids on the county are devastating and quantifiable. As of today there are 192 inmates in the Lawrence County Jail. Many of them are there on drug related charges or because they violated their terms of probation.

The lawsuit will seek damages in the form of funds to address the significant financial burdens that the opioid crisis has placed on the county and the costs are exponentially both emotional and financial.

County Attorney Dave Smith, says there will be no cost to the county, unless the county wins the lawsuit.

This lawsuit supports Lawrence County's efforts to address a major public health crisis.

"This will not be a short-term venture," Smith added. "It will be complicated because so many states are involved."

Manufacturer defendants will include Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Noramco, Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt PLC, Allergan PLC, and Watson Pharmaceuticals. The lawsuit will allege that these manufacturers deceptively marketed their opioid products with regard to their safety and the risks of use.

Distributor defendants will include AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., and McKesson Corporation. The lawsuit will allege that the distributors failed in their duty to report and stop suspicious orders of opioids flooding Lawrence County.

"Taxpayers shouldn't be left to shoulder the burden of solving a problem fueled by the opioid manufacturers and distributors," says Lynn Toops of Cohen & Malad, LLP "Lawrence County is taking an important step forward to hold these drug manufacturers and distributors accountable for their actions."

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