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Six more Georgia counties joining Opioid fight

By Allie Jackson

Marketing Coordinator for  Blasingame, Burch, Garrad & Ashley, PC

ATHENS, Ga. – (June 15, 2018) – Six more Georgia counties have joined dozens of other cities, counties, and hospitals in the state that have filed lawsuits aimed at multiple manufacturers and distributors of opioids, seeking to hold them responsible for their role in creating the opioid epidemic. The counties that filed this week include Dooly County, Charlton County, Brantley County, Troup County, Johnson County, and Camden County.

The lawsuits target more than 20 companies that manufacture and distribute opioids, and allege the defendants misrepresented the addictive risks of opioids, fraudulently marketed opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, and did not follow federal and state laws regarding the reporting of excessive opioid sales in certain areas.

The cases were filed in federal court on Wednesday, and are expected to be transferred to the national opioid multi-district litigation in Ohio, where more than 750 cases are pending. The counties are represented by Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. (BBGA), of Athens. Johnson County is also represented by Joseph C. Sumner, LLC, of Dublin; Brantley County by C. Deen Strickland, P.C., of Waycross; and Camden County by John S. Myers, P.C., of St. Marys.    

BBGA continues to lead the way statewide in the filing of opioid lawsuits, with more Georgia filings than all other firms combined. The litigation team expects to continue filing similar lawsuits on behalf of many other Georgia cities, counties and hospitals. BBGA is now representing nearly 60 Georgia counties, cities, and hospital authorities.

“With these lawsuits, we hope to help stop the opioid epidemic and secure the resources that local governments

need to combat it,” BBGA partner Jim Matthews said. “We’ve made presentations to dozens of local governments across Georgia and anticipate presenting to many more. We have extensive experience in multi-district litigation (MDL) and are pleased to continue filing for Georgia counties.”

BBGA is nationally recognized in MDL litigation in Georgia and across the country. The firm has been lead counsel or co-lead counsel in at least five national MDL proceedings and currently represents the State of California in two major drug price-gouging cases. The firm’s MDL experience spans across multiple complex MDL cases, including transvaginal mesh, talcum powder, and hernia mesh cases.

“What distinguishes us from the other law firms involved in opioid litigation is, we are a Georgia law firm that will be lead counsel in representing our clients,” said firm partner Drew Hill. “We are not associated with out-of-state counsel in the handling of our clients’ business, and we file the lawsuit in the county’s local jurisdiction.”