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Alexander County sues opioid manufacturers over drug addiction, overdose

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Aug 22, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS — Alexander County joins the opioid lawsuit wave sweeping across the nation by suing drug manufacturers and distributors for allegedly contributing to opioid overdose and addiction. 

The People of the State of Illinois, The People of Alexander County and Count of Alexander filed a complaint on Aug. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against AmericasourceBergen Drug Corporation; Cardinal Health, Inc.; Cardinal Health 112, 110, 108, LLC, Cardinal Health 105, Inc.; Cardinal Health 414, LLC and McKesson Corporation, alleging the defendants violated the Illinois Narcotics Profit Forfeiture Act, the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege the defendants' opioid analgesics hydrocodone and oxycodone are widely diverted and improperly used. They claim the widespread use of these drugs has resulted in a national epidemic of opioid overdose deaths and addictions. 

As a result, the epidemic has caused a public hazard to the public health and safety of the county itself. 

The plaintiffs allege the defendants failed to maintain effective controls to prevent diversion in the county, including a duty to monitor, detect, report, and refuse to fill suspicious orders of prescription opioids originating from Alexander County.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment to pay punitive and exemplary damages, grant court costs, pre and post-judgment interest, and all other relief as the court deems appropriate and just. 

They are represented by Ann E. Callis, Thomas J. Lech and Gregory R. Jones of Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, PC in Edwardsville.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 3:17-cv-00876-NJR-DGW

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Goldenberg Heller Antognoli & Rowland U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

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