On June 17, 2019, Attorney General Aaron Ford announced that the State of Nevada filed an expanded complaint against opioid manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and individuals. The complaint alleges that these parties created an environment of addiction with deadly consequences for the state and its residents.
Attorney General Ford held two press conferences on June 17 to announce the expanded complaints. "Working together the defendants created an unprecedented health crisis for their own profit and the deaths of thousands of Nevadans are on their hands,” Ford said of the manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies at a Las Vegas press conference.
The Opioid Crisis in Nevada
The widespread use of opioid drugs has resulted in a national epidemic of opioid addictions and deaths. Nevada has the fourth highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States and has incurred substantial costs related to the opioid epidemic. These costs include:
- law enforcement action for opioid-related crimes
- addiction treatment and;
- other services necessary for the treatment of people addicted to opioids.
In a 2017 report by the Nevada Substance Abuse Working Group, it was stated that there were 94 painkiller prescriptions for every 100 Nevada residents and that one in five high school students self-reported that they had used a prescription drug that was not written for them.
The 2017 report shows that the number of prescriptions per residents increased from a 2015 report by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. The 2015 report states that the total number of prescriptions for Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Alprazolam was 2,371,134 and the total population of Nevada was 2,890,845. This translates to 82 prescriptions for every 100 Nevada residents.
To combat this epidemic plaguing Nevada families, The State of Nevada has filed an expanded complaint naming manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and individuals responsible for creating a public health crisis in Nevada.
The complaint names over 40 defendants. It states that because of the defendants intentional and unlawful actions and omissions, a public health and safety crisis was caused by the opioid epidemic.
The complaint asserts two categories of claims. The first being claims against the pharmaceutical manufacturers of prescription opioid drugs that engaged in a massive false marketing campaign to drastically expand the market for such drugs and their own market share.
The second category of claims is against entities in the supply chain that reaped enormous financial rewards by refusing to monitor and restrict the improper distribution of those drugs.
Manufacturer defendants include:
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
- Actavis Pharma
- Purdue Pharma
- Members of the Sackler family who controlled Perdue Pharma, SpecGX, Mallinckrodt LLC
- Top Executives of Insys Therapeutics
The complaint also lists various entities created by opioid manufacturers and their executives to spread assets and shift liability.
Distributor defendants include:
- McKesson Corporation
- Cardinal Health LLCs
- AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation
- Walgreen Co.
- Walmart Inc.
- CVS Pharmacy
Eglet Adams Opioid Lawsuits
Eglet Adams is taking on opioid manufacturers and distributors to recoup the costs of saving people’s lives from opioid use and overuse in Nevada.
In addition to serving as outside counsel for the State of Nevada, Eglet Adams represents the following cities and counties in opioid-related lawsuits:
- Carson City
- Churchill County
- Clark County
- Douglas County
- Esmeralda County
- Humboldt County
- Lincoln County
- Washoe County
- City of Henderson
- City of Las Vegas
- City of North Las Vegas
- City of Reno
- City of West Wendover
Eglet Adams has handled complex civil litigation against other pharmaceutical companies which resulted in positive policy changes for consumers. We have obtained the largest catastrophic injury verdict in America twice against Teva Pharmaceuticals and Senior Partner Robert Eglet has obtained more multimillion-dollar verdicts than any lawyer in Nevada history.