Clark County, Nevada Files Lawsuit Against Distributors, Manufacturers Amid Opioid Crisis
LAS VEGAS, Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Clark County, Nevada filed a lawsuit Wednesday afternoon against opioid distributors and manufacturers as Clark County residents deal with this ongoing opioid epidemic. In a 46-page complaint, District Attorney Steve Wolfson filed suit in the Eighth Judicial District Court and the County Commission voted to approve such suit. The widespread use of opioid drugs has resulted in a national epidemic of opioid deaths and addictions. Local governments including Clark County have been strained to the breaking point by this public health crisis.
The Clark County District Attorney's Office will work in association with the local law firm of Eglet Prince. Eglet Prince has a reputation for handling large cases in Nevada judiciary and is known for obtaining some of the largest verdicts in the United States (2010 & 2013). They were the only law firm in America to twice obtain the largest injury verdict.
In announcing this association, District Attorney Steve Wolfson stated, "This is a welcome effort and I am honored and pleased to be co-counsel with the law firm Eglet Prince. Opioid addiction impacts all people, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic background or political affiliation. The mortality rate from opioid overdoses in Clark County was almost 70 % higher than the national average. Apart from the toll on human life, the crisis has financially strained the services Clark County provides its residents and employees. Human services, social services, court services, hospital, emergency and ambulatory services, have all been severely impacted by this crisis," concluded Wolfson.
Clark County Commission Chair, Steve Sisolak, said "Our citizens are dying. This public nuisance has caused and continues to cause significant harm to our community, and the harm inflicted outweighs any offsetting benefit. The staggering rates of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use and the abdication by these companies' and gate-keeping duties has caused harm to the entire community. This must stop. Drug addiction and opioids are ravaging our community and will only get worse unless action is taken. The nationwide opioid crisis is having a devastating effect on individuals, families and communities and is imposing enormous financial costs on federal, state, and local governments. I am delighted that Clark County is moving forward with this litigation," said Sisolak.
Robert Eglet added "Drug companies have placed their desire for profits above the health and well-being of their customers and the communities where those customers live. Nevada has the fourth highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States. The public nuisance created by the Defendants' actions is substantial and unreasonable. It has caused, and continues to cause, significant harm to the community. Clark County has incurred substantial costs including: law enforcement action for opioid-related crimes, addiction treatment, and other services necessary for the treatment of people addicted to prescription opioids. These drug companies knew or should have known that the marketing of opioids would create a public nuisance. We plan to force these companies to pay for all the damage they did to our community, and force the drug companies to change the way they do business," Eglet said.
Historically, opioids were considered too addictive for treatment of chronic pain (migraines, back pain, arthritis). And they were used only to treat short term acute pain or for palliative end of life care. In the late 1990's, and continuing today, opioids have been prescribed for chronic pain because of aggressive marketing campaigns by drug companies.
Contact: Tom Letizia
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