On January 31, 2018, the City of Baltimore filed a 105-page lawsuit against manufacturers, distributors and others who are alleged to be responsible for numerous injuries and damages to Baltimore City caused by fraudulent and reckless marketing of opioids.
Baltimore’s opioid lawsuit alleges that major manufacturers of prescription opioids precipitated the current epidemic by spending billions to market their products not for what they really were, i.e., dangerous, addictive, and potentially deadly narcotic painkillers meant for short-term use to treat acute pain, but rather as safe, effective pain relievers that could be taken in perpetuity with little to no risk of addiction.
The Baltimore opioid lawsuit alleges that drug manufacturers led by Purdue Pharma sent sales representatives directly to doctors to spread these alleged lies, paid well-known doctors to parrot the manufacturers’ misrepresentations, and co-opted purportedly independent medical associations to disseminate the lies to the public and throughout the medical community. The Baltimore opioid lawsuit further alleges that the result of Big Pharma’s misinformation campaign was that prescribers started writing more prescriptions, for more pills, for more patients. Hundreds of thousands of patients in pain took those pills and, through no fault of their own, became dependent on and addicted to them. For many, the availability and expense of the manufacturers’ opioids forced them to seek illegal opioids in the form of heroin or prescription pills sold on the streets, and 8 out of 10 new heroin users begin by abusing prescription opioids.
The Baltimore opioid lawsuit seeks to force the manufacturers and distributors of these opioids to assist in its efforts to abate the effects of the opioid epidemic in Baltimore City, alleging that these corporations were the root cause of the opioid epidemic and enabled and encouraged the escalation of this public health crisis. The Baltimore opioid lawsuit alleges that, so far, these corporations have refused to take responsibility for the harm they have caused. To the contrary, these corporations continued to profit off of the epidemic that has cost the Baltimore community and communities across the country so much. Baltimore seeks to force these companies to take responsibility for their false and misleading promotion of addictive prescription painkillers and their failure to report orders of drugs that they knew or should have known were not being used legitimately; and to make significant contributions to Baltimore City’s efforts to remedy the harm they caused.
The Baltimore City opioid complaint can be read here.
It has been reported that in excess of 3,000 people have died in Baltimore since 2007 from opioid overdoses, including 523 people who died between January and September 2017. Baltimore City faces a deepening opioid crisis due to an increasing number of drug users turning to fentanyl, which is a potent synthetic opioid.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) as a result of opioids or other prescription drugs in Baltimore City, in Maryland, or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a drug claim lawyer (opioid claim lawyer) in Maryland or in your state who may investigate your drug claim for you and represent you or your loved one in an opioid case, if appropriate.
Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you with your opioid claim.
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