Butte County took an important step in the fight against the national opioid crisis. During the Tuesday, May 8, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board approved an agreement with the national law firm of Baron & Budd to initiate litigation against manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic across the country and in Butte County.
The County joins more than 300 cities and counties that have initiated litigation on this matter. Baron & Budd represent 80 percent of the municipalities that have filed suit against pharmaceutical distributors for opioid-related claims. The agreement with Baron & Budd is funded solely from recovered funds, if any, as a result of the proposed ligation and would be paid only if and when the litigation successfully concludes.
Butte County joins a consortium of California counties, now 30 in total, that are working together to take a stand for communities and counties that represent approximately 10.5 million California residents. The intended legal action will include a taxpayer and cost recovery action in addition to equitable relief to help manage, resolve and prevent current and future problems.
“The County seeks to recover taxpayer funds used to respond to the opioid epidemic in our community,” says Butte County Counsel Bruce Alpert. “Local government services have had to subsidize the impact of the opioid epidemic, created by irresponsible multi-billion dollar corporations, which have placed profits over public safety.”
The consortium and its counsel have developed evidence that many of the nation’s largest drug manufacturers pushed highlight addictive, dangerous opioids – deliberately misinforming doctors by claiming that patients using the drugs rarely experience addiction.
The expected manufacturer Defendants include Purdue Pharma; Teva Ltd. (which acquired pharmaceutical maker Cephalon, Inc. in 2011); 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 consortium will also seek recovery from three of the nation’s largest drug distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – which failed to monitor, identify and report suspicious activity in the size and frequency of opioid shipments to pharmacies, in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
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 & Twell; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; McHugh Fuller Law Group. The firms currently represent more than 300 cities and counties throughout the United States.
For more information, please contact John Fiske at Fiske@BaronBudd.com or at 619-261-4090.