Will Tennessee soon be able to file suit over opioid deaths?

July 23, 2019

News broke a few days ago that Tennessee just experienced the deadliest year ever for drug deaths in 2018. According to new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1,800 people died of drug overdoses in Tennessee last year, an increase of 3% from the year prior...which also set a record. The CDC says that number could rise, as another 89 deaths, suspected of drug overdoses,are still unconfirmed by toxicology tests. The report did not include what specific drugs were involved in the totals, but if indicative of nationwide averages, opioids played a huge part. An upcoming decision in Oklahoma may open the door for Tennessee to file lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies engaged in aggressive marketing practices.


The state of Oklahoma's lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson wrapped up its civil case last week in a trial that could create a ripple effect across the nation. Oklahoma's Attorney General accused Johnson & Johnson (and the company's subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals) of helping "ignite the opioid crisis with overly aggressive marketing." The lawsuit says the marketing ultimately opened the door, leading to thousands of overdose deaths over in Oklahoma over the last decade. Instead of a jury, a state judge heard the case and the decision is expected before fall. The state is asking for more than $17 billion in damages to assist in curbing the opioid crisis.


At the law offices of T. Verner Smith, we represent clients who have suffered personal injury or worse due to the negligence of another. These types of lawsuits not only provide necessary compensation for those who were wrongfully hurt in an accident, but also creates an environment of caution leading to higher safety standards for all. Contact us for a free consultation at (731) 423-1888, (901) 730-4567, or (615) 371-6136.



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