Tennessee’s Fourth Judicial District Joins Suit Against Opioid Producers

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The coalition of East Tennessee district attorneys general that brought an October lawsuit against several prescription opioid producers has filed an amended complaint in Campbell County Circuit Court. 

The complaint now includes an additional plaintiff, District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn, who represents Tennessee’s Fourth Judicial District and the counties of Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson and Sevier. District Attorney General Dunn’s involvement raises the number of districts participating in the suit to six, and the number of counties represented to 19. 

The initial lawsuit against Purdue Pharma L.P. and its related companies, along with Mallinckrodt LLC, Endo Health Solutions Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. was originally filed by the district attorneys general of Tennessee’s Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts. The lawsuit named two plaintiffs, known collectively as Baby Doe, by and through their Guardians Ad Litem. Additional defendants named in the filing include the (now-dissolved) Tennessee Pain Institute, two former TPI employees and a convicted drug dealer. 

The amended lawsuit alleges that: 

The producer defendants directed their opioids to the 19 East Tennessee counties of the state’s Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts, while the criminal defendants participated in the illegal opioid drug market throughout the same judicial districts along the Interstate 75 corridor; 

Purdue Pharma embarked on a fraudulent campaign to convince physicians that OxyContin created minimal risk of addiction; 

As Purdue’s marketing efforts demonstrated success in the form of rapid increases in opioid prescriptions, Mallinckrodt, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals and other opioid producers joined Purdue in its fraudulent scheme; 

Purdue’s efforts and those of the other defendants to mislead doctors and the public about the need for, and addictive nature of, opioid drugs led to an opioid epidemic, created an environment for thousands of individuals in Tennessee to become addicted to opioids, and fueled a dramatic increase in Campbell County, Tennessee, and other East Tennessee counties in the number of individuals exposed and addicted to OxyContin, Roxicodone, Opana ER and other opioids, and; 

The producer defendants knew their products were being diverted to the illegal drug market, but did nothing to stop it — choosing profit over people. 

The lawsuit demands judgment against the defendants for damages resulting from breaches of statutory and common law, seeks to award restitution to the plaintiffs, and requests an injunction to stop the flood of opioids to the region. The suit was the second complaint filed in Tennessee last year against Purdue Pharma and additional pharmaceutical companies. The first was filed in June 2017 in Sullivan County Circuit Court in Kingsport. 

Background information, including complaint documents and media coverage of this issue, is available on www.tnbabydoe.com. This site serves as an information portal and is updated frequently.



Marc Gravitt Honored With The Tennessee Leadership Award By The Tennessee Association Of Assessing Officers

Rep. Marc Gravitt has been awarded the Tennessee Leadership Award by the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers. Will Denami, Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers, presented the award to Representative Gravitt on behalf of the statewide association. “Rep. Marc Gravitt continues to study the issues and listen closely to his constituents he ... (click for more)

BASF’s Chattanooga Sites Receive Tennessee Governor’s Award Of Excellence For Workplace Safety

The BASF sites in Chattanooga received the Governor’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety by working all of 2016 without a lost time, restricted duty or medical workplace injury or illness. The award honors Tennessee employers and employees who meet a required number of hours without workplace injuries serious enough to cause an employee to miss a day of work or restrict ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Says Brewer Was Driving 80 And Was High On Meth At Time Of Horrific Wreck At Ooltewah Exit; Defense Says There Is No Evidence Of Intoxication

A prosecutor on Monday told a Criminal Court jury from Nashville that Benjamin Scott Brewer Brewer was driving 80 mph, was high on meth and never hit his brakes when he caused an horrific wreck on June 25, 2015, at the Ooltewah exit of I-75. Crystle Carrior asked the jury to find Brewer guilty of six counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, four counts of reckless aggravated ... (click for more)

2 Top Officials Leave Administration Of Sheriff Eric Watson

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson on Sunday announced the resignations of Chief Deputy Brian Smith and Director of Administrations Arnold Botts. He said they "served with distinction for the past four years." The Sheriff's Office said, "Smith notified Sheriff Watson that he is exploring business opportunities in the private sector, while Botts mentioned the timing was right ... (click for more)

General Bell: This Government Shutdown Is Outrageous - And Response

The day before yesterday two Army Apache Attack Helicopter pilots were killed in a crash during training at Fort Irwin, Ca.  The pilots and their unit were preparing for a future deployment to combat operations.    As a result of the government shutdown, none of the spouses or families of these pilots will receive a dime from the United States Government in immediate ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Rebranding & ‘Culture’

My grandfather, who ran several very successful businesses, was a very astute fellow. I can’t tell you how many times he said, “The worst thing any salesman who calls on a business can say is, ‘I am here to save you some money.’ That’s not true -- In every instance they are in front of you hoping to make some money for themselves, else they would have never come by.” Another ... (click for more)