BY BOB KALINOWSKI
Plains Twp. is joining the legal battle against some of the biggest prescription drug companies in the world, accusing them of enabling the opioid crisis.
Following actions by Luzerne County and Wilkes-Barre City, the township is filing a federal lawsuit against the makers and distributors of opioid drugs.
The lawsuit will target five of the largest manufacturers of prescription opioids and three of the largest wholesale distributors. Abuse of opioids drugs, legal and illegal, have led to a record number of fatal overdoses.
“Plains Township has joined the fight against national opioid distributors and manufacturers because the cost of this opioid crisis has overwhelmed our township’s ability to provide for the health and safety of our residents,” said Plains Twp. Commissioner Peter J. Biscontini. “Every family, no matter the household income, has been affected by the drug and opiate epidemic, either directly or indirectly.”
The lawsuit alleges drug manufacturers have failed to safely and responsibly market their branded opioids to patients throughout Plains Twp., and wholesale distributors have breached their legal duty to monitor, identify and report suspicious activity in the size and frequency of opioid shipments to pharmacies and hospitals and other providers.
The case will be filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, but will be transferred to the Northern District of Ohio, where similar case have been moved for disposition.
The Fellerman and Ciarimboli law firm in Kingston is one of the local firms representing Plains Twp.
“These companies habitually broke the law in terms of distribution. We now have a flood of these dangerous drugs in our community,” said Attorney Ed Ciarimboli. “These drugs are killing people everyday.”
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.