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Madera County Joins National, Statewide Fight Against Opioid Epidemic
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
COUNTY OF MADERA
MADERA COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
200 W. FOURTH STREET / MADERA, CALIFORNIA 93637 (559) 662-6040 / FAX (559) 673-3302 / TDD (559) 675-8970
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
BRETT FRAZIER DAVID ROGERS ROBERT L. POYTHRESS MAX RODRIGUEZ TOM WHEELER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 8, 2018
Madera County Counselrgarza@maderacounty.com
MADERA COUNTY JOINS NATIONAL, STATEWIDE FIGHT AGAINST OPIOID EPIDEMIC
On May 1, 2018, Madera County took an important step in the fight against the national and statewide opioid crisis. The Board of Supervisors joined several other counties in retaining a group of law firms including, national law firm, Baron & Budd, to initiate litigation against manufacturers and distributors responsible for the opioid epidemic.
“The health and safety of the public is of utmost importance to the Madera County Board of Supervisors,”says Chairman Tom Wheeler. “As the governing body of this great county, we need to take whatever steps necessary to help protect our residents and future generations.”
Madera County joins a consortium of thirty (30) California counties that are working together to take a stand for communities and counties that represent approximately ten and a half (10.5) million California residents. All thirty (30) counties are filing suit in federal court and expect their cases to be transferred into the Multi-District Litigation in Ohio, where over 500 public entities have filed similar suits. The intended legal action will include a taxpayer and cost recovery action in addition to equitable relief to help mitigate and prevent current and future problems.
“This litigation seeks to recover taxpayer funds used to respond to the opioid epidemic,” says Madera County Counsel Regina Garza. “Local government services have been unfairly subsidizing the impact ofthe opioid epidemic, which was created by multi-billion dollar corporations whose irresponsible actionsplaced profit over public safety.”
The California Opioid Consortium (COC) and its counsel have compelling evidence that many of thenation’s largest drug manufacturers pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids and deliberately misinformed doctors by claiming that patients using the drugs rarely experience addiction.
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 COC will seek recovery from three of the nation’s largest drug distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corp. – who failed to monitor, identify and report “suspicious”opioid shipments to pharmacies, in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The lawsuit also names other large national distributor/retailers.
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. The firms currently represent over 300 cities and counties throughout the United States.
For more information, please contact John Fiske at Fiske@BaronBudd.com or at 619-261-4090.