Parish President Begins Process to Recoup Opioid-Related Costs from Drug Manufacturers
St. Tammany Parish President announced that the Parish of St. Tammany today filed suit in the 22nd Judicial District Court against opioid drug manufacturers and distributors in hopes of recovering costs incurred by the Parish related to the opioid addiction epidemic.
St. Tammany, represented by the firms of Leger and Shaw, Berrigan Litchfield LLC, and Ross F. Lagarde APLC, join a long list of local and state governments taking action against drug manufacturers and distributors for their roles in escalating the nation’s opioid crisis.
“The opioid epidemic crisis has disturbing and far-reaching consequences. The toll it continues to inflict on families and communities is devastating,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “Public agencies have had to bear new, escalating costs associated with fighting the epidemic and warning the community of the dangers. The Louisiana Department of Health indicates that our Parish had the most opioid-related deaths in the state from 2011- 2015. In 2016 alone, the St. Tammany Parish Coroner reported 58 deaths caused by overdose. We need to find long-term solutions, and any settlement from these proceedings will help to implement those solutions, that are gravely needed.”
Brister noted that the Parish’s lawsuit is an attempt by the Parish Government to find solutions to dramatically reducing use and ending the misuse of opioids in St. Tammany. Research shows that public entities bear the burden of hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, while the manufacturers and distributors of prescription drug opioids earn billions of dollars in revenue. The Parish Council adopted the resolution to obtain, on a contingency basis, special counsel for these proceedings during the Parish Council meeting in May of 2018.