Clark County sues pharmaceutical industry over opioid crisis

LAS VEGAS - Grim statistics revealed that Nevadans are dying at a rate of more than one person a day because of the opioid crisis.
    
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson wants to fight back by suing drug manufacturers and distributors. He says they're to blame for the abuse of opiate painkillers.

"It is my request that you authorize the commencement of civil litigation," said Wolfson during a County Commission meeting Tuesday.  "It's all about results, and that's what we want and need as a result of this lawsuit." 

County commissioners also approved Robert Eglet and his law firm to handle the litigation of the civil lawsuit. The county is seeking damages and relief from what it has endured as the opioid crisis has worsened across the nation and Nevada.

"For all the losses that the county has incurred and the strain that is put on their social services as well as the justice system, the healthcare system, among other things," Eglet said.

8 News Now has obtained a draft of the lawsuit, which is expected to be filed in District Court on Wednesday.  It names over a dozen pharmacies and manufacturers, and distributors of opiate painkillers, including Nevada companies, "Watson Laboratories" and "Lam's Pharmacy incorporated."

The 46-page complaint alleges the companies are "public nuisances; common law public nuisances that engage in negligent misrepresentation, and negligence creating a public health crisis, by engaging in a fraudulent scheme" that is fueling a secondary market of illegal drugs." 

Any settlement or judgment could be massive, and Eglet says filing in district court will likely be the fastest way to get to a resolution.

"I believe our state courts here will be able to efficiently move this case through the system quicker than most other jurisdictions," said Eglet.

Eglet and his law firm have also successfully won some $1.5 billion dollars in settlements and verdicts over the past decade.
    
Most notably, several cases and hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement money related to the Hepatitis C outbreak.


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