Keller Rohrback & City of Tacoma File Suit Against Prescription Opioid Manufacturers
September 13, 2017
The City of Tacoma has filed suit against Purdue, Endo and Janssen, three of the biggest manufacturers of prescription opioids in the United States. The suit was filed to hold Purdue, Endo and Janssen accountable for providing false and misleading information to doctors and patients about the safety and efficacy of prescription opioids over approximately the last 20 years.
“The City of Tacoma joins other municipalities, counties and states across the country that are seeking to hold opioid manufacturers liable for the harms they have inflicted on the community, and the financial burden their product has caused taxpayers,” said Tacoma City Manager Elizabeth Pauli. “We will vigorously pursue these claims and are exploring all of our available options at this time as we work to protect our community members from the harm caused by the companies that put their profits ahead of our community’s safety.”
The City of Tacoma has suffered significant damages.
- The Tacoma Fire Department responds to opioid-related health crises on a daily basis.
- It is estimated that at least 50 percent of Tacoma’s homeless population is addicted to opioids, which dramatically increases the costs and difficulty of providing needed human services to those individuals.
- The City of Tacoma devotes substantial resources to various human services in responding to the opioid epidemic including, for example, providing housing and shelter, and maintaining behavioral health support services and mental health centers.
- Opioid-related crimes have soared. In the 1990s, for example, opioids were rarely seized by the Tacoma Police Department. Today, the Tacoma Police Department routinely finds thousands of pills and many pounds of heroin in drug busts, and has had an officer dedicated to the Pill Task Force Team in collaboration with federal, state, and other local governments.
- The City of Tacoma, as a self-insured entity, has spent and continues to spend substantial sums on prescription opioids, including over $1 million in the last two years alone.
The City of Tacoma has hired Keller Rohrback L.L.P. to represent the City in this litigation. Keller Rohrback L.L.P. is a national law firm based in Seattle that has recovered billions of dollars for its individual, institutional and governmental clients in major corporate fraud and abuse cases throughout the country.