Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced on January 8, 2018 that Baltimore County, Maryland intends to file a lawsuit in federal court in Baltimore against pharmaceutical companies that manufacture opioids and distribute opioids, seeking monetary damages incurred by Baltimore County in addressing the effects of the opioid crisis in Baltimore County.
In the first six months of 2017, Baltimore County had 187 substance-related deaths. Baltimore County has incurred expenses relating to first-responder intervention, drug and alcohol counseling programs, employee prescription expense, and loss of economic revenue to the County, among other costs.
The Baltimore County Executive stated in announcing the upcoming opioid lawsuit, “The opioid crisis has led to a significant increase of overdoses from heroin and prescription drug abuse. We believe that the pharmaceutical industry pressured and cajoled physicians into prescribing opioids for chronic pain, and vastly misrepresented the risk of addiction. The desire to increase profits on the part of drug companies is a leading cause of our nation’s health crisis, and we must fight back.”
After the Baltimore County opioid lawsuit is filed in federal court, Baltimore County will seek to consolidate its opioid case with other similar opioid cases.
Earlier in January 2018, Anne Arundel County, Maryland filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors in state court, including Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, and Endo Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures Percocet, alleging that the defendants misled doctors and other prescribers regarding opioid effects.
A large national law firm headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina that is lead counsel for many cities that have filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and opioid distributors, including Chicago and Santa Clara County, California, and is of counsel to Anne Arundel County, Maryland in its opioid lawsuit, states on its website: “Opioids accounted for more than 33,000 deaths in 2015, with the hardest hit states being West Virginia, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Ohio and Rhode Island, the CDC reports. On Oct. 26, 2017, the U.S. declared the opioid crisis to be a public health emergency, allowing for the allocation of resources and services to combat the epidemic …
“The number of opioid overdose deaths recorded in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1999, with prescription painkillers being the driving force behind the uptick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similar to the rise in overdoses, the amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies and medical practitioners, including drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, also nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, the CDC found. Despite the increase in readily available drugs, the amount of pain recorded by Americans has reportedly remained consistent …
“With evidence that the pharmaceutical industry played a key role in causing the opioid epidemic through its alleged deceptive marketing of highly addictive prescription painkillers to treat common chronic pain conditions, state attorneys general, local governments and other public entities nationwide have championed investigations and litigation to seek accountability and remedies.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) as a result of opioids or other prescription drugs in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, 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 in a drug 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 drug claim.
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