Smith County to file suit against OxyContin manufacturers for role in the opioid crisis


Smith County will be taking pharmaceutical companies to court over local effects of the opioid crisis gripping the nation.

During its Tuesday regular meeting, the Smith County Commissioners Court voted to retain two law firms as its legal counsel in a forthcoming suit against pharmaceutical manufacturers of OxyContin. Those include Tyler-based Martin Walker, Attorneys at Law and Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC. 

“It’s against pharm companies and distributors for proliferation of the opioid epidemic and the cost to the county,” Joe Walker of Martin Walker said. “The manufacturer of OxyContin is Purdue Pharma, and Purdue was an innovator in the way opioids were marketed. They will certainly be in the case.”

Walker said Abbott Laboratories also would be named. It is possible that manufacturers beyond Purdue and Abbott also could be named in the suit.

Walker said the county does not intend to file suit against any hospitals or physicians groups.

Co-counsel Jeffery Simon said the lawsuit would seek compensationdue to the impact on the area.

Simon said the lawsuit will go as far back as statutes of limitations will allow. They plan to file the lawsuit as soon as the county completes its paperwork.




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