Oglethorpe County Joins Growing List of Those Suing Opioid Manufacturers
Oglethorpe County is joining a growing list of counties around the state filing suit against manufacturers and distributors of Opioids. Athens law firm Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley is representing Oglethorpe County as well as Athens-Clarke, Oconee, Candler, Crisp, Jeff Davis, and Sumter Counties and the Candler County Hospital Authority. Attorney Patrick Garrard says doctors were misled when it came to prescribing the drugs.
“Does that mean that there were not doctors out there that abused the system, absolutely there were, but on the whole, we believe the culpability for this epidemic for the over-prescribing lies with the message that these companies created when they were putting these drugs out, starting in the mid-90s,” Garrard said.
He says counties are facing costs for law enforcement, EMTs, and coroner’s offices, as well as for treatment for those addicted and incarcerated.
“They’re also seeking costs to look at trying to recover from this epidemic. That we hope will be able to take the form of resources aimed at treating the addiction issue that’s present in our communities,” said Garrard.
The firm expects to file similar lawsuits in the coming weeks on behalf of other Georgia counties and hospitals. Georgia ranks 11th with the most prescription opioid overdoses, according to the Georgia Prevention Project.