The Texas Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has announced that it will consolidate 16 opioid lawsuits filed by county governments across Texas in a statewide multidistrict litigation (MDL). These lawsuits – filed against opioid painkiller manufacturers like Purdue Pharma and distributors such as McKesson Corp. – accuse companies involved in the sale and distribution of opioid painkillers with making false and misleading claims about these drugs.
Over the last 20 years, the aggressive promotion of opioid painkillers by the pharmaceutical industry has led to an epidemic of cases of abuse, addiction, overdoses, and deaths caused by these drugs. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 630,000 people in the U.S. have died from an opioid overdose since 1999.
A total of 16 counties across the state of Texas have filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors over their role in the opioid epidemic. According to these lawsuits, manufacturers and distributors of prescription painkillers marketed these drugs directly to physicians in order to increase sales, spread false information about opioids through the use of third-part groups, and promoted opioids in a way that led patients to abuse these drugs, and led some to start using illicit opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl.
The lawsuits also accuse opioid distributors – including McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen – failed to restrict the sale of opioids to certain customers. By doing so, the lawsuits allege that these distributors also contributed to the nationwide opioid crisis.
The Texas Judicial Panel says that it is currently deciding which judge will oversee the Texas opioids MDL, and which city the litigation will be located in. Officials from the 16 counties who are part of the MDL have made varying requests as to the location of the litigation. The Texas Judicial Panel has said only that it plans to appoint a judge to the case “from a major, centrally located Texas city that is easily accessible to the parties and the attorneys.”
In addition to the Texas opioids MDL, opioid manufacturers and distributors are also facing a nationwide MDL in Ohio. This litigation involved about 180 lawsuits filed by state and local governments across the U.S over similar allegations that the manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers made misleading claims in the promotion of these drugs that contributed to the opioid epidemic.
Opioid Painkiller Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson
If you or your family have lost a loved one to an opioid overdose, you may be eligible to take legal action. Lawsuits involving opioid painkillers have been filed against companies that manufacture or distribute these drugs, pharmacies that fill opioid prescriptions, and doctors or medical care facilities that prescribed these drugs to patients.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed dozens of lawsuits on behalf of victims of opioid overdoses. Our law firm has also handled more lawsuits involving the powerful opioid medications fentanyl than all other law firms in the country combined.
For more information about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit against the organizations and individuals responsible for your loved one’s death, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free consultation. You can also reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing the brief case evaluation form located at the top of this page.