Several Commonwealth counties are banding together to counteract the opioid epidemic.
The City of Martinsville, Virginia, on behalf of 10 other Virginia counties filed a motion with the state’s Supreme Court requesting to consolidate lawsuits geared to opioid manufacturers and others for their roles of prescribing the drugs.
Counties and cities involved in the recent request include: The City of Martinsville, Henry County, Dickenson County, Washington County, Lee County, Giles County, the City of Norton, the City of Galax, Pittsburgh County, Page County and the City of Alexandria.
Each of the entities previously filed separate lawsuits and are represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, Kaufman & Canoles, P.C., and The Cicala Law Firm PLLC.
Andrew Miller, attorney with Sanford Heisler Sharp, says the motion will allow a panel of circuit court judges to hear the cases together.
“This is the first step in consolidating the lawsuits,” Miller said. “We believe this is a fair and efficient way to hear the cases.”
The defendants in the lawsuits include manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Abbott Laboratories, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals; Teva Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon, Inc., Barr Laboratories, Inc., Actavis Pharma, Watson Laboratories, Inc., Allergan PLC, and Insys Therapeutics; distributors AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp.; and PBMs Express Scripts, Inc., CVS Health; United Health Group Inc., and OptumRx, Inc.
According to a statement issued by the law firm,
The lawsuits allege that the opioid crisis in Virginia has killed thousands of Virginians, has caused thousands more to suffer dire health consequences, and has cost counties and cities across the Commonwealth hundreds of millions of dollars by increasing the costs of law enforcement and court services, foster care and child placement services, and other services for which local communities have had to bear the cost. The lawsuits aim to recover costs of this nature.