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Clifford Law Offices Files Class Action Complaint Involving the Opioid Crisis

Clifford Law Offices filed a class action complaint in Mississippi federal court on behalf of a number of health care institutions that seek to hold a number of pharmaceutical companies responsible for the over-prescribing of opioid medications.

The 134-page complaint filed in the Southern District of Mississippi's federal court alleges that the opioid crisis in America is caused by "Defendant's unlawful marketing, sales, and distribution of prescription opioids that has resulted in addiction, criminal activity, serious health issues, and loss of life."

Shannon M. McNulty, partner at the firm, brought this action on behalf of hospital-plaintiffs to recover monetary losses that hospitals have lost as a result of "Defendant's false, deceptive, and unfair marketing and/or unlawful diversion of prescription opioids." These powerful and highly addictive pain medications are being manufactured and distributed by these defendants who have "unlawfully breached their legal duties under federal law to monitor, detect, investigate, refuse, and report suspicious orders of prescription drugs."

In effect, the defendants have been subverting their legal obligation to monitor the gross distribution of opiates. Consumers become addicted to their products by defendants "aggressively push[ing] highly addictive, dangerous opioids, [and] falsely representing to doctors that patients would only rarely succumb to drug addiction." The complaint alleges that these illegal actions are being done for "their own corporate profit."

Among the defendants named are some of the country's largest drug manufacturers - Johnson & Johnson, AmeriSourceBergen Drug Corporation and Teva Pharmaceuticals are named defendants along with 18 other drug manufacturing corporations.

The complaint alleges that "By 2010, enough prescription opioids were sold to medicate every adult in the United States with a dose of 5 milligrams of hydrocodone every 4 hours for 1 month." It also states that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade. It then goes into the specific, negligent marketing and distribution practices of the defendants that has led to this crisis.

The complaint also alleges violations of the RICO Act as well as fraud against these companies. The case seeks class action status on behalf of all of those hospital-plaintiffs who suffered economic losses for overdose treatment at the hands of these corporate defendants.

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For further information, contact Clifford Law Offices' Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909.

Case No.: 5:17-CV-145-KS-MTP

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