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Anne Arundel County Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors and Local Over-prescribing Doctors

Annapolis, MD (January 4, 2018) – Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh announced today the County has filed legal action against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and local over-prescribing doctors. Anne Arundel County is the first jurisdiction in Maryland to file such an action.

“Misleading and deceptive marketing practices and unethical prescribing practices have accelerated the opioid addiction epidemic in Anne Arundel County,” said Schuh. “Those who have had a hand in this epidemic must be held accountable.”

Defendants in the action include manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Insys Therapeutics, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Local physicians William Tham, M.D, Kofi Shaw-Taylor, M.D., Jackie Syme, M.D., and Lawrence Vidaver, M.D., and their practices, are also named defendants in the action.

Legal claims against the parties include:

  • Public nuisance claims
  • False Claims Act claims
  • Maryland Consumer Protection Act claims
  • Fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation claims
  • Unjust enrichment claims
  • Gross negligence and negligence claims 

The lawsuit will be litigated by Motley Rice, LLC law firm. Its 90 attorneys have led and secured landmark outcomes and monumental settlements in some of the most significant health, environmental and consumer fraud litigation in state and federal courts throughout the last 30 years. The firm works on a contingency fee basis and there are no immediate costs to tax payers. Motley Rice will only get paid if the suit recovers funds. Motley Rice will work in conjunction with our County Office of Law.

Despite record investments in education, prevention, and public safety, the opioid crisis in Anne Arundel has steadily gotten worse in recent years. Within the first quarter of 2016, drug and alcohol overdose deaths increased more in the County than any other Maryland jurisdiction. The County’s opioid prescription rate remains above the national average and nearly three times higher than in 1999.

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