Through a Seattle law firm hired by City Hall, Tacoma is taking three prominent makers of prescription opioids into federal court, seeking damages for dealing with the societal problems caused by drugs’ rampant issuance. The lawsuit filed today names Purdue, Endo and Janssen, three of the biggest manufacturers in the U.S., as defendants.
“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 local government’s position is that at least half of Tacoma’s homeless population is addicted to opioids, dramatically increasing the costs and difficulty of providing them human services. Tacoma also claims crimes related to these pain-killer drugs have soared, while the local fire department has to respond to opioid-related health crises almost daily.
Keller Rohrback LLP, a national law firm based in Seattle, will represent Tacoma in this litigation. It claims it has recovered billions of dollars for individual, institutional and government clients in major corporate fraud and abuse cases throughout the country.