Arkansas Counties and Cities File Joint Lawsuit Against Opioid Drug Manufacturers
Cory Watson Attorneys is leading the charge on groundbreaking opioid litigation, working with county, city and state officials to represent the people of Arkansas in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
In an unprecedented approach, hundreds of county, city, state officials, and employees gathered Wednesday on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol to announce that they have filed a lawsuit against the opioid drug industry.
The lawsuit seeks damages from more than 50 drug companies. The money recovered would fund remediation of the opioid epidemic in Arkansas. This unified litigation is unlike any others in the country and will represent 90 percent of Arkansas’s population, with 72 counties and 210 cities participating.
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The lawyers at Cory Watson will help combat the opioid manufacturers who have raked in billions in profits at the expense of devastated families and communities across the country. The attorneys argue that it will cost Arkansas cities and counties billions to stop the Arkansas opioid epidemic, and that the companies that aggressively marketed the opioids should foot the bill instead of the taxpayers.
“This is an attempt by Arkansas counties and cities to force opioid manufacturers to pay to clean up the Arkansas opioid epidemic that the complaint alleges the opioid industry directly caused,” said Cory Watson attorney F. Jerome Tapley in an interview with CNN. Tapley is leading the legal team that includes lawyers from Arkansas firm Rainwater, Holt & Sexton.
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City and county leaders agree the opioid lawsuit is the best way to handle the ongoing crisis. Don Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Arkansas Municipal League said, “Arkansas’s one-voice approach to this lawsuit is one that gives us a seat at the table. Neither the state or any country or city is big enough alone; this litigation approach ensures that recover damages remain in Arkansas.”
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The opioid epidemic has ravaged Arkansas communities for years. While the U.S. experiences more than 42,000 fatal overdoses a year, Arkansas experiences over 400, a number that has increased nearly 300 percent since 2000 and coincides with opioid sales quadrupling. Additionally, Arkansas ranks second in the nation in the misuse of opioids behind Alabama, which is the only other state with a higher opioid prescribing rate than Arkansas according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chris Villines, Executive Director of the Association of Arkansas Counties said, “Instead of fighting and competing with each other on critically needed settlement dollars for our cities and counties, all of the cities and counties are working together to do what’s best for Arkansas.”
Watch the Opioid Litigation News Conference coverage below. Cory Watson attorney F. Jerome Tapley speaks at the 30:17 mark.
Cory Watson Attorneys, a premier national litigation firm, is working with county, city and state officials in Arkansas to help fight the opioid epidemic.
Talk Business & Politics: Attorney: Governments seeking to recover ‘probably … billions’ from opioid companies
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Arkansas Online: In opioid lawsuits, state aim is 1 voice
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: County group seeks payout in suit
The Outlook: Alexander City’s Tapley takes on opioid makers for Arkansas and counties
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