Russell and Dorothy Budd Establish $3 Million Endowment to Fund the Budd Innocence Center at The University of Texas School of Law
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New cases allege Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson Corp. responsible for public nuisance by failing to regulate distribution of prescription opiates
DALLAS – August 14, 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 lawsuits on behalf of Scioto County, Ohio; Jackson County, Ohio; and Ross County, Ohio against the nation’s largest pharmaceutical distributors for their role in the widespread diversion of prescription opiates for nonmedical purposes.
Scioto, Jackson and Ross Counties allege in the suits 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. Jackson County filed suit on Wednesday, August 2 (Jackson County Board of County Commissioners v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation et al: Case No.: 2:2017cv00680). Scioto County filed suit on Thursday, August 3 (Scioto County Board of County Commissioners v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation et al: Case No.: 2:2017cv00682). Ross County filed suit on Friday, August 11 (Ross County Board of County Commissioners v. AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation et al: Case No.: 2:17-cv-00704). On Friday, July 28, the firms filed similar suits on behalf of four other Southern Ohio Counties: Vinton, Belmont, Clermont, and Brown.
“It’s not a secret that communities across this country are struggling to combat an opioid crisis that’s overwhelming hospitals, law enforcement agencies and social services organizations. But what’s rarely discussed is who is responsible for creating this epidemic,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Burton LeBlanc. “The pharmaceutical distribution industry flooded our country with these dangerous drugs for decades, and now it’s incumbent on cities, counties and states to combat and abate the public nuisance these companies have caused.”
Opioids are widely diverted and improperly used throughout Ohio. For example, in Ross County, between 2010 and 2015 wholesale distributors sold 47,737,231 opioids – enough for the county to supply 600 opioid pills to every man, woman and child in the county.
The counties are 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.
Last week, President Trump announced that he intends to declare a national emergency in response to the opioid crisis. His statement follows the recommendation from the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to declare a national public health emergency to help curb the opioid epidemic.
In addition to Green Ketchum, Levin Papantonio and Baron & Budd, the Counties are 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.
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.