Opioid Litigation

Our litigation team is working closely with local, county and regional governments and other stakeholders across the country in lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful and addictive opioid painkillers. The lawsuits charge that the pharmaceutical industry has fueled dramatic increases in opioid abuse and deaths by indiscriminately flooding rural and urban communities with prescription opioids. The drugs in question include brand names, such as OxyContin and Percocet, as well as generics, such as fentanyl and oxycodone.

As pharmaceutical companies have seen their profits boost, the result has been a public health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999 along with sales of those prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.

With special expertise in multidistrict litigation (MDL) against big pharmaceutical conglomerates, the Lanier team has taken the lead in this litigation, which argues that pharmaceutical companies overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks of using opioids, and that distributors failed to monitor suspicious orders of prescription opiates. As a result, local governments have been burdened with a range of costs and services to fight the crisis including treatment centers and medical services for addicted residents.