MARSHALL – A Northeast Texas county has pursued legal action in response to the ongoing opioid epidemic, according to recent Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas records.
The County of Upshur filed a 58-page product liability lawsuit on Sept. 29 against 20 pharmaceutical companies, including, but not limited to, Purdue Pharma, L.P.; Johnson & Johnson; and McKesson Corp.
Asserting healthcare providers nationwide wrote more than 289 million prescriptions for opioids last year alone, the suit states the usage of opioids “too often leads to misusing and abusing opioids.”
“This epidemic did not occur by chance,” court papers explain. “The defendants manufacture, market, distribute, and sell prescription opioids, including, but not limited to, brand-name drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Opana, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicodone, Avinza, and generics like oxymorphone and hydrocodone, which are powerful narcotic painkillers. Other defendants manufacture, market, distribute, and sell prescription opioids, including, but not limited to, brand-name drugs like Fentanyl, Fentora, Duragesic, Ultram, and Ultracet.”
Per Upshur County, the opioids were sold to its pharmacies and the companies failed to address the “alarming and suspicious” rise in the ordering of the drugs. It further pinpoints a majority of multiple drug overdose deaths in 2013 to opioid ingestion.
“Upshur County has committed and continues to commit resources to provide and pay for healthcare, law enforcement, social services, public assistance, pharmaceutical care and other services necessary for its residents,” the original petition says.
Attorney Jeffrey B. Simon of the law firm Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, P.C. serves as the county’s lead counsel.
Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 2:17-CV-0672