Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 13, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
East Bridgewater Joins Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors
EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Scott Allen and the East Bridgewater Board of Selectmen report that the town has agreed to join a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical opioids, in an effort to recover municipal costs that have been brought on by the opioid epidemic.
The Massachusetts Opioid Litigation Attorneys is a group of attorneys representing local towns and cities in the class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit is part of a larger, nationwide multi-district litigation lawsuit brought on by the group, National Prescription Opiate Litigation.
The East Bridgewater Board of Selectmen voted March 12, 2018 to become a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Being a party in the lawsuit comes at no cost to the town and the attorneys will be paid with a portion of any damages recovered.
“In addition to the emotional and personal impact this epidemic and health crisis has had on all of us, there has also been a substantial budgetary impact that all of our communities have had to deal with for more than a decade,” Chief Allen said. “If being a part of this lawsuit comes at no cost to the town and it has the potential for these big drug manufacturers and distributors to be held accountable, I am all for it.”
The defendants in the lawsuit are the pharmaceutical corporations Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, along with multiple wholesale distributors. The lawsuit alleges deceptive trade practices, fraud, negligence and civil conspiracy.
The lawsuit seeks damages for the municipal cost of providing treatment, counseling and rehabilitation services, along with costs directly associated with law enforcement and public safety relating to the opioid epidemic.
So far, there are more than 75 communities in the state that have joined the lawsuit and more than 500 cities and towns nationwide.