Lake and Trumbull counties blamed three chain pharmacies for not stopping the flood of Opioids that have caused hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths and have cost each county about $1 Billion heir attorney says. How much the pharmacies must pay in damages will be decided in the spring by a federal judge. This was the first time pharmacy companies had completed a trial to defend themselves in the Opioid crisis.
The counties and their legal team accepted the task of convincing the respective juries that the pharmacies played a major role in creating a public nuisance in the way they dispensed pain meds into their communities. “The law required pharmacies to be diligent in dealing drugs. This case should be a wake-up call that failure will not be accepted,” said Mark Lanier an attorney for the counties. Lanier went on to say “The jury sounded a bell that should be heard through all pharmacies in America.”
Two other chains – Rite Aid and Giant Eagle – already settled lawsuits with the two counties. Lanier said during the trial that the pharmacies were attempting to blame everyone but themselves even as the opioid crisis overwhelmed to court, social services and law enforcement and left behind heartbroken families and babies born to addicted mothers. Roughly 80 million painkillers were distributed in Trumbull County alone between 2012 and 2016 – the equivalent of 400 pills for every resident.
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