Clark County Opioid Litigation
Clark County v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al.
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
Case No. 3:18-cv-05241
On March 27, 2018, Keller Rohrback L.L.P. filed suit on behalf of Clark County, Washington, against opioid manufacturers and distributors, including Purdue Pharma, Endo, Janssen, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson, and other entities, for the reckless promotion and distribution of opioids.
Defendants’ dubious marketing and aggressive sales of prescription opioids have significantly contributed to the current opioid crisis. Since the mid-1990s, opioids have become the most prescribed class of drugs in America. More than half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid like those manufactured and distributed by Defendants. Beyond the cost of human life, the economic burden of prescription opioid abuse costs the United States an estimated $78.5 billion per year in health care and addiction treatment and puts increased strains on human services and the criminal justice system. America is awash in opioids – in 2016, health care providers wrote 289 million prescriptions for opioids, enough for every adult in the country to have more than one bottle of pills.
In Clark County, the fifth largest county in Washington State with approximately 471,000 residents, at least 199 residents of died from opioid-related overdoses from 2012-2016. This rate of approximately 8.8 deaths per 100,000 residents marks a greater than 57.9% increase from the rate the County experienced in the early 2000s.
“The increased use of opioids over the last 20 years has had a devastating effect on our community,” said Marc Boldt, Clark County Council Chair. “It’s time to hold these drug companies accountable and take steps to reverse this disturbing trend.”
Plaintiff Clark County joins several other municipalities and government entities in litigation for damages related to the opioid crisis, including but not limited to, increased emergency medical responses to overdoses, drug-related offenses, and resource allocation spent on community and social programs.
“Too many communities have been hit hard by this crisis on so many levels,” said Derek Loeser, a partner at Keller Rohrback. “We’re honored to work with Clark County to ensure that they get some relief for the disaster that the companies responsible for the epidemic created.”
Keller Rohrback’s Complaint was filed on March 27, 2018, in the Western District of Washington. On April 11, 2018, the case was transferred into the national MDL (Multi-District Litigation) In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL No. 2804, in the Northern District of Ohio before the Honorable Dan A. Polster.