City of Cincinnati and Legal Counsel Baron & Budd, Greene Ketchum, Levin Papantonio File Suit Against Pharmaceutical Distributors for Role in Selling Millions of Prescription Opioids

August 15, 2017  |  Press Releases, Public Entities

New lawsuit joins growing number of cases throughout Ohio that allege Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson Corp. failed to regulate distribution of prescription opiates

DALLAS – August 15, 2017 – Today, the national law firm of Baron & Budd; the law firm of Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel LLP; and the law firm of Levin Papantonio, announced that they have filed a new lawsuit on behalf of the City of Cincinnati against the nation’s largest pharmaceutical distributors for their role in the widespread diversion of prescription opiates for nonmedical purposes.

The City of Cincinnati alleges that three Fortune 500 pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – each played a role in creating a public nuisance by failing to regulate orders of prescription opiates. The case was filed today in federal district court in the Southeastern District of Ohio (City of Cincinnati v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation et al: Case No.: 2:17-cv-00713).

The City of Cincinnati joins several Southern Ohio counties in filing suit against the three largest pharmaceutical distributors. Earlier this month, Scioto, Jackson and Ross Counties filed suit against the distributors. Also, on Friday, July 28, the firms filed similar suits on behalf of Vinton, Belmont, Clermont, and Brown Counties.

Cincinnati is the second major U.S. city to file suit against pharmaceutical distributors this week. On Monday, August 14, the City of Birmingham, Alabama filed a similar lawsuit.

“Pharmaceutical distributors turned their back on their primary responsibility – halting suspicious orders of dangerous drugs,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Burton LeBlanc. “These corporations played a key role in creating the opioid epidemic in Cincinnati, and need to be held accountable for cleaning it up.”

Opioids are widely diverted and improperly used throughout Ohio. Cincinnati is the largest city in Hamilton County, where between 2010 through 2015, wholesale distributors sold more than 290,000,000 opioids. Additionally, the City of Cincinnati currently averages four heroin overdoses per day. In August 2016, the city experienced 174 heroin overdoses during a span of six days.

The City is seeking damages to cover the costs of services including, but not limited to: medical care and treatment for patients suffering from opioid-related addiction or disease; treatment of infants born with opioid-related medical conditions; costs associated with caring for children whose parents suffer from opioid addiction; and law enforcement and public safety services related to the opioid epidemic.

In addition to Greene Ketchum, Levin Papantonio and Baron & Budd, the City is also working with the following law firms related to these cases: Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC; The McHugh Fuller Law Group; and Lancione & Lancione, LLC.

ABOUT BARON & BUDD, P.C.

The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Austin, Los Angeles, and San Diego, is a nationally recognized law firm with a nearly 40-year history of “Protecting What’s Right” for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals and government and business entities in areas as diverse as dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, environmental contamination, the Gulf oil spill, financial fraud, overtime violations, deceptive advertising, automotive defects, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.

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