Nearly 200 Municipalities Pursue Legal Action Against Pharmaceutical Distributors to Combat Opioid Crisis

December 18, 2017  |  Press Releases, Public Entities

Consortium of firms including Baron & Budd, Greene Ketchum, and Levin Papantonio allege Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson Corp. knowingly failed to regulate distribution of prescription opiates

 DALLAS – December  18, 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 nearly 200 municipalities have contracted with the firms to pursue lawsuits related to allegations that pharmaceutical distributors deliberately failed to monitor and report suspicious orders of opioids The lawsuits allege the corporate negligence exercised by three Fortune 500 pharmaceutical distributors played an influential role in creating an opioid addiction epidemic throughout the United States.

Numerous municipalities that are working with the firms have already filed suit against the pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – alleging each of the distributors played a pivotal role in creating a public nuisance by failing to regulate orders of prescription opiates. In these cases, the plaintiffs 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.

Among the list of nearly 200 public entity clients represented by the firms are the City of Birmingham, Alabama; the City of Louisville, Kentucky; the City of Baton Rouge, Lousiana; and the State of New Mexico. The list includes numerous local governments across the nation and a sovereign tribe of Native Americans.

“Regardless of geography, for each of our clients, their situation boils down to these drug distributors showing complete disregard for public safety in their never-ending quest for more money and more profits,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Burton LeBlanc. “These municipalities have been stuck footing the bill for everything from neonatal intensive care treatment for babies who are born addicted to opioids to an unprecedented number of bodies that must be stored in local morgues. It’s not right. And now we intend to hold these companies responsible for the disaster they have created.”

Early this month, a federal judicial panel ordered that 180 government lawsuits brought against opioid manufacturers and distributors be transferred to a judge in Ohio. The order requires that all federal lawsuits brought by government entities be sent to U.S. District Judge Dan Polster of the Northern District of Ohio.

In addition to Greene Ketchum, Levin Papantonio, and Baron & Budd, these public entities 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.

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