Written by The Business Journal Staff
Madera County took a step in the fight against the opioid crisis with the Board of Supervisors joining several other counties in retaining a group of law firms to initiate litigation against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors blamed for the epidemic.
“The health and safety of the public is of utmost importance to the Madera County Board of Supervisors,” said Chairman Tom Wheeler. “As the governing body of this great county, we need to take whatever steps necessary to help product our residents and future generations.”
Madera County joins a consortium of 30 California counties that are working together to take a stand for communities and counties that represent approximately 10.5 million California residents. Each county is filing suit in a federal court and expects their cases to be transferred in the Multi-District Litigation in Ohio, where more than 500 public entities have filed similar suits.
“This litigation seeks to recover taxpayer funds used to respond to the opioid epidemic,” said Madera County Counsel Regina Garza. “Local government services have been unfairly subsidizing the impact of the opioid epidemic, which was created by multi-billion dollar corporations who irresponsible actions placed profit over public safety.”
The expected manufacturer Defendants include Purdue Pharma; Teva Ltd. (which acquired pharmaceutical maker Cephalon, Inc. in 2011); 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 County’s entire legal team 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; McHugh Fuller Law Group.