Sumter County Joining Athens-Clarke and Others in Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers
An Athens law firm is representing another Georgia county government in its quest to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors financially accountable.
Attorney Patrick Garrard says Sumter County is joining Athens-Clarke, Oconee, Candler, Crisp, and Jeff Davis counties, along with the Candler County Hospital Authority, in a lawsuit being handled by Blasingame, Burch, Garrard, & Ashley.
“The counties are seeking reimbursement of costs that they’re incurring as a result of dealing with the opioid epidemic that’s facing our communities in the state,” according to Garrard. “They’re also seeking costs to look at trying to recover from this epidemic and that, we hope, will be able to take to take the form of resources aimed at treating the addiction issues.”
Garrard says local governments have incurred a wide range of costs related to opioid addiction.
“Cost can include law enforcement costs, EMT costs, increased coroner costs related to overdose death. Some of the costs include dealing with an addicted population. It can be related to inmate costs for folks that have ended up in jail as a result of their addictions.”
The lawsuit targets more than 20 companies that manufacture and distribute opioids, and alleges the defendants misrepresented the addictive risks of opioids, fraudulently marketed opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, and did not follow federal laws regarding the reporting of excessive opioid sales in certain areas.