Tennessee, Virginia Hospitals Sue Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

GREENEVILLE — More than 30 hospitals in Tennessee and Virginia are suing Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and more than 40 other companies involved in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of prescription opioids.

The lawsuit was filed in Greene County Circuit Court this week and comes after two decades of these hospitals providing front line care to the community in response to the opioid crisis.

“Hospitals have experienced significant, measurable damages and must be active participants in any opioid settlement discussions,” said Don Barrett, an attorney with Barrett Law Group who will serve as an additional counsel for the plaintiffs. Barrett also initiated tobacco litigation that brought about the 1998 Master Settlement agreement with the tobacco industry.

“No party is better positioned to lead us out of this public health crisis than hospitals, but effective treatment of such patients requires tremendous resources,” added Barrett.

The hospitals’ complaint alleges negligence, fraud and civil conspiracy by the defendants, which include Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories and more than 40 other companies and individuals involved in the manufacturing, distribution, and sales of prescription opioids.

Read more from our media partners at the Kingsport Times News.