A firm specializing in class-action suits will represent Lubbock County against big pharmaceuticals. Attorneys with Phipps Deacon Purnell PLLC said it is to help the county recoup losses from treatment, jailing and court costs.
“By joining this lawsuit, what we are saying is, no more, in Lubbock County, no more,” Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish said.
After talking with the sheriff, Parrish said it was clear this crisis has reached Lubbock. Lubbock County will now join dozens of others throughout Texas. The Attorneys accuse multiple distributors and manufacturers of deceptive practices.
“That opioid crisis has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, but it has also led to direct costs to tax payers,” Attorney T.J. Mayes said.
Those costs come from jails, social service agencies, and the criminal justice system.
“So the county is entitled to damages for those costs because it the county paid the money for those costs,” Mayes said.
Mayes said these practices started back in 1996 when the FDA approved Oxycontin.
“Purdue pharmaceuticals engaged in a very aggressive, very deceptive marketing campaign after that approval,” Mayes said.”Starting in 1999, we saw a dramatic spikes in the amount of deaths from opioid overdoses.”
Parrish in confident this suit will hold these various companies accountable and in effect, take the drugs that are killing our youth off the streets.
“All drugs aren’t bad, but the way they are licensed, the way they are manufactured, the way they are distributed, has really caused an adverse effect in our community,” Parrish said.
The class action is in pre-trial administration in Houston. Mayes said there will then be a trial set here in Lubbock County to ensure taxpayers are reimbursed.