CHICAGO – A central Illinois county has added itself to the growing list of governments suing the manufacturers and distributors of so-called opioid pain killers over allegations the drugs have cost millions in related health care costs.
Piatt County filed a complaint on Nov. 26 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Purdue Pharma LP, Abbott Laboratories, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and others alleging consumer fraud and other counts.
Piatt County is located roughly between Champaign and Decatur. The county seat is Monticello.
Piatt County alleges it has paid and continues to pay "millions of dollars" for health care costs on prescription opioid dependency it alleges was created by the defendants' fraudulent marketing campaign. The plaintiffs allege that the defendants advertised that drug opioids are safe and effective and that the risk of addiction to the drugs is low or of little significance.
The county alleges the defendants misrepresented the risk of addiction to the painkillers, misrepresented the efficacy of the product, and deprived patients and doctors of the complete information necessary to make informed choices about their treatment.
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against defendants for compensatory, treble and punitive damages; declaratory judgment; interest; costs; disbursements and further relief as the court deems just. They are represented by Peter J. Flowers, Michael W. Lenert and Ryan P. Theriault of Meyers & Flowers LLC in St. Charles.
Dozens of other local governments in Illinois have filed similar lawsuits, represented by prominent trial lawyer firms, including Meyers & Flowers. Hundreds of cases filed across the country are now pending in a consolidated action before an Ohio federal judge.
Cook County Circuit Court case number 18-L-012689