Like many states, Tennessee has experienced significant consequences from the ongoing opioid epidemic. Opioids are synthetic medications that help people manage chronic or severe pain. They are similar to opiate medications, however, opiate medications are typically the result of naturally occurring compounds within the opium poppy.
Both classes of medication serve a critical purpose for individuals dealing with severe injuries and debilitating illnesses. However, they are easy to become addicted to and for patients to eventually abuse. Overdoses and chemical interactions caused by the misuse of opioid and opiate painkillers have reached a staggering level across the United States, including Tennessee.
Tennessee fighting back for those grieving or dealing with addiction
For every individual who loses their life to the scourge of opioid addiction, there are likely dozens more struggling daily to deal with opioid or opiate dependence and the impact it has on their life. Different government entities are considering a variety of ways to counter the spread of this dangerous addiction.
In Kentucky, district attorneys filed a lawsuit attempting to reduce the proliferation of opioids and opiate prescriptions in Tennessee. Now, thanks to a ruling by a circuit court judge in early April, that lawsuit may soon move forward.
Recent ruling advances a case filed in 2017
Justice may sometimes be blind, but she can also be very slow. That is often the case when communities attempt to address complex social issues like addiction. One of the ways to stem the flow of opioids into a community is to reduce production and therefore supply. Pushing back against the companies that make the pills is one way to do that.
In a lawsuit brought against Purdue Pharma and other manufacturing companies, the plaintiffs allege that pharmaceutical companies, medical care providers and individual distributors all contribute to the ongoing scourge of opioid addiction. The plaintiffs in this case have requested substantial documentation from a number of businesses, including the pharmaceutical companies.
Those companies have pushed back and attempted to avoid supplying the requested documentation. Now, a circuit court judge has ruled that they must provide the documentation in an easily searchable and understandable format for the plaintiffs. This could mean that the case moves to trial as soon as next year.
The right representation matters for critical cases
There is no question that legal representation is often a cornerstone to whether a lawsuit is successful. It is worth noting that Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings PLLC is the firm selected to represent the Tennessee attorneys general for this particular lawsuit.
Working with an attorney who understands issues like dangerous medications and mass torts can help determine your rights if you are dealing with issues ranging from environmental contamination leading to mesothelioma or even problems with your place of employment.