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May 16-- At its April meeting, the Toombs County Commission voted to become part of ongoing lawsuits around the state against the opioid manufacturers that are causing serious problems for poorer counties and its citizens. Below is the press release regarding the lawsuit.

Toombs County Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

ATHENS, Ga. – (May 15, 2018) – Toombs County filed a lawsuit today against multiple manufacturers and distributors of opioids, seeking to hold them responsible for their role in creating the opioid epidemic. The county is represented by Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. (BBGA), of Athens.

BBGA continues to lead the way statewide in the filing of opioid lawsuits, with more Georgia filings than any other firm. The litigation team expects to file similar lawsuits in the coming weeks on behalf of many other Georgia cities, counties and hospitals.

The lawsuit targets more than 20 companies that manufacture and distribute opioids, and alleges the defendants misrepresented the addictive risks of opioids, fraudulently marketed opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, and did not follow federal laws regarding the reporting of excessive opioid sales in certain areas.

The case was filed in federal court and is expected to be transferred to the national multi-district litigation in Ohio regarding the opioid epidemic, where more than 400 are currently pending.

“With this lawsuit, we hope to help stop the opioid epidemic and secure the resources that local governments need to combat it,” BBGA partner Jim Matthews said.

BBGA has filed lawsuits on behalf of more than 40 Georgia counties, cities, and hospital authorities.

“We’ve made presentations to dozens of local governments across Georgia and anticipate presenting to many more,” Matthews said. “We have extensive experience in multi-district litigation (MDL) and are pleased to continue filing for counties.”

BBGA is nationally recognized in MDL litigation in Georgia and across the country. The Athens-based firm has been lead counsel or co-lead counsel in at least five national MDL proceedings and currently represents the State of California in two major drug price-gouging cases. The firm’s MDL experience spans across multiple complex MDL cases, including transvaginal mesh, talcum powder, and hernia mesh cases.

“What distinguishes us from the other law firms involved in opioid litigation is, we are a Georgia law firm that will be lead counsel in representing our clients,” said firm partner Drew Hill. “We are not associated with out-of-state counsel in the handling of our clients’ business, and we file the lawsuits in their local jurisdictions.”

For staff use only.