Baron & Budd Files Suit on Behalf of 30 California Counties to Hold Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Distributors Responsible for Creating Opioid Epidemic

May 8, 2018  |  Press Releases, Public Entities

National law firm represents more than 300 communities across the United States in litigation against drug companies, alleging costs of treatment for addiction, education and law enforcement tied to pervasive opioid abuse

SAN DIEGO – May 8, 2018 – Today, the national law firm of Baron & Budd announced that it will file lawsuits on behalf of 30 California counties against many of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors for their role in creating a widespread diversion of prescription opiates for nonmedical purposes. The suits seek an abatement remedy in addition to legal damages to reimburse taxpayers for money spent providing social resources in response to the opioid crisis.

The 30 Counties have organized through the California Opioid Consortium and represent the interests of approximately 10.5 million California residents. Each of the 30 counties are filing suit in federal court and expect their cases to be transferred into the Multi-District Litigation, which is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio. To date, more than 500 public entities have filed similar suits around the country.

“As a California native, I stand with these 30 counties to recover taxpayer funds and to prevent the proliferation of the crisis. For too long, local governments have subsidized the bad acts of some of the largest corporations in our country which are reaping billion-dollar profits and placing profits over public safety,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “These 30 counties are standing up for their communities, and I am proud to be a part of their action.”

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 lawsuits also name the nation’s largest drug distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – alleging that the companies failed to monitor, identify and report “suspicious” opioid shipments to pharmacies, in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Some suits also name other large national distributors and retailers.

The legal team representing the counties includes the law firms of Baron & Budd; Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor; Powell & Majestro; Greene Ketchum Bailey Farrell & Tweel; Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler; and McHugh Fuller Law Group. The firms currently represent more than 300 cities and counties throughout the United States for opioid-related claims. Baron & Budd serves as lead counsel to approximately 80 percent of the municipalities that have filed suit against pharmaceutical distributors for opioid-related cases.


Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse as dangerous pharmaceuticals and defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, motor vehicles, employment, and other consumer fraud issues.

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