Carbon County Board of Commissioners Press Release
As residents of Carbon County are well aware, Carbon County has in recent years suffered more deaths per capita from opioid drug overdoses than any other county in the state of Utah. In response to the ongoing opioid abuse crisis facing the State of Utah and Carbon County in particular, Carbon County filed a lawsuit on Thursday, Nov. 1, against multiple nationwide manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain analgesics in the United States District Court for the state of Utah.
The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers and distributors of these drugs failed to alert patients and doctors to their addictive nature, resulting in the widespread abuse of opioid drugs and leading to an epidemic of opioid addictions within Carbon County. The manufacturers and distributors of these drugs knew that the drugs were highly addictive, yet they acted in concert to recklessly promote the proliferation of these drugs, in conscious disregard of the effects that they knew they would have on the patients to whom they were prescribed.
As the Plaintiff in the lawsuit, Carbon County, seeks to prevent these manufacturers and distributors from engaging in further unfair, deceptive and illegal drug promotional practices. The County also seeks to recoup monies lost in its efforts to respond to the opioid epidemic in Carbon County, and to create an abatement fund for the purpose of stemming the opioid nuisance within Carbon County.
The County is also seeking punitive damages against these manufacturers and distributors for their reckless promotion of the use of these drugs. In filing this litigation, Carbon County is joining with hundreds of other local governmental entities across the country who are also standing up to the major pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors and demanding that they contribute to repairing the lives they have damaged.