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Officials Go After Opioid Companies for Harms Done in Houston

DEA to host national prescription drug take-back 160324-F-HC995-002As hundreds of municipalities target opioid-pushing drug companies through mass civil litigation, one Harris County prosecutor has made it personal.

Assistant county attorney Pegi Block has declined to join the grand-scale efforts to turn the tide on the Opioid Crisis that has plagued the nation. To her, harm has been done to everyday families in the greater Houston area and those responsible should be held accountable in Harris County.

“The damages were incurred here,” Block reportedly said. “We believe that our judge, our county, our juries in Harris County not only have the right, but that they should be the ones to decide the fate of this lawsuit. This is where it happened

In her assessment, major drug companies and others deliberately minimized the risk of addiction these controlled substances carry. Many patients in need of painkillers following procedures and conditions discovered the medication they believed would ease their discomfort created a nightmare. Under-advised about how incredibly addictive opioids can be, people who would not otherwise use drugs found themselves consumed. These once clean and sober community members are now in desperate need of drug rehabilitation services.

Legal Battle to Keep the Opioid Lawsuit Local

Attorney Block has led the charge to bring corporations that put profit ahead of people to local courts so that they can face the friends and neighborhoods of those impacted by these powerful drugs. Although Harris County stands as the third largest county in the United States, Block has been forced to mount a legal fight to keep the case local.

Other parties are trying to lump the damage done in the Houston area with other regions and force Texans into the multi-district lawsuit being heard in an Ohio federal court. Block’s efforts mirror dozens of other local governments that believe the pain inflicted was local and local justice should prevail.

Experts following the national legal trend agree that commingling these individual cases will have a dampening effect on the outcome. The real-life power of local community members’ personal stories would likely be drowned out. It would be impractical for a federal judge to hear literally thousands of detailed instances of families being destroyed by unnecessary drug addiction.

The multi-district litigation may prove beneficial for small jurisdictions that lack the resources to go head-to-head in court with deep-pocketed drug outfits. That is simply not the case for attorney Block and Harris County.

Although the litany of defendants, including drug manufacturers, pharmacies, distributors and others, prefer to keep opioid lawsuits in a single court where testimony can be reduced, several large municipalities have gain ground in furthering local justice.

Native Americans have filed suit in Tribal Courts. Connecticut, Louisiana and New York have pending litigation and Pres. Trump has filed a “statement of interest” supporting the lawsuits that could ultimately help rein in the opioid crisis and provide the funding needed to treat the afflicted.

Contact A Houston Rehabilitation Center

While local attorneys fight to get local justice, helping our valued community members receive the rehabilitative treatment you deserve is also personal. The Bay Area Recovery Center has four locations in Harris County that offer vital programs for people suffering from opioid dependency.

Source

Why Houston and other cities want nothing to do with the massive national opioid lawsuit

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