The City of Miramar Commission made a motion at its February 13, 2017 meeting to approve the filing of a lawsuit against certain pharmaceutical manufacturers and retaining law firms in pursuit of recovering harm incurred by the City; because of the alleged deceptive and fraudulent marketing practices of certain pharmaceutical manufacturers. This lawsuit also addresses the alleged failure to report suspicious purchases by certain pharmaceutical wholesalers/distributors. They have both been identified as contributing factors to the abuse of opioids.
This lawsuit, if proven true, would denote that violations of federal and state laws have been made; for which the guilty parties may be liable for monetary damages. Various law firms have been included because of their practices that have investigated alleged deceptive and fraudulent marketing practices of certain pharmaceutical manufacturers, but have failed to report suspicious purchases by certain pharmaceutical wholesalers/distributors.
It is widely recognized that the United States is facing the worst drug crisis in its history due in large part to the abuse of opioids. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”):
•In 2016, in the United States opioid overdose deaths were five times higher in 2016 than 1999;
•In Florida, the drug overdose death rate increase from 2015 to 2016 was 46.3%, making it statistically significant among all states within the United States; and
•In Broward County the retail opioid prescriptions dispensed per 100 persons from 2006–2016 was 51.3%.
On May 3, 2017, the governor of Florida officially declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. According to the Broward County Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services, in 2016 there were 586 Deaths Certified as Accident due to Drug Intoxication. Additionally, the opioids crisis has had a financial impact throughout the United States, by increasing emergency and medical care expenses; law enforcement and judicial expenses; diversion plan expenses; costs of social programs; jail and public works expenses; substance abuse treatment and lost tax revenues.
As a result, the City believes that there is a valid basis to commence and prosecute civil litigation to seek monetary damages and other relief, on a contingency fee basis.