MOUNDSVILLE — Six lawsuits including county commissions and two mayors were filed against drug manufacturers for their part in the opioid crisis in West Virginia.
The County Commissions of Mason, Barbour, Taylor and Webster, along with Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum and Addison Mayor Don E. McCourt filed the lawsuits Jan. 11 in Marshall Circuit Court.
Purdue Pharma, The Purdue Frederick Company, Mark Ross, Patty Carnes, Carol DeBord, Jeff Waugh, Shane Cook, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Cephalon, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, NoramCo, Mallinckrodt, Johnson & Johnson, Endo Health Solutions, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, Allergan, Actavis, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Watson Pharma, Watson Laboratories, McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health 110, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Rite Aid of Maryland Wal-mart Stores East, West Virginia Board of Pharmacy and Carl Hooker were named as defendants in the suits.
During the creation and inflation of the opioid epidemic, the defendants knew of the dangerously addictive qualities and high rates of loss and misappropriation of their drugs, but their profits played a roll in creating and allowing the public nuisance to exist, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants played a significant role in creating the public nuisance by flooding the plaintiffs' cities, counties and townships with excessive amounts of dangerous and addictive medications.
From 2007 until 2012, more than 26 million hydrocodone dosages were filled in the plaintiffs' governmental entities, according to the suits.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by H. Truman Chafin and Letitia N. Chafin of The Chafin Law Firm; Mary E. Troy of Troy Law Firm; Harry F. Bell Jr. of The Bell Law Firm; John Yanchunis, Patrick Barthle and James D. Young of Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group; and Hunter B. Mullens and Catherine Mullens of Mullens & Mullens.
Marshall Circuit Court Case numbers: 19-C-4, 19-C-5, 19-C-6, 19-C-7, 19-C-8, 19-C-9