Reddick Law is proud to be part of the legal team that has joined forces with the Arkansas Municipal League and the Association of Arkansas Counties to represent nearly all of the counties and cities in Arkansas in a fight against the opioid epidemic that has ravaged Arkansas communities over the past decade. Arkansas suffers from the second-highest rate of opioid prescriptions in the country, with 114.6 prescriptions for every 100 persons. The number of overdose deaths in Arkansas has also nearly tripled since 2000, with over 400 Arkansans losing their life to an overdose in 2016 alone. Arkansas also leads the nation in the misuse of painkillers by children between the ages of 12 to 17, indicating that this problem is far from over and may increase in the coming years.
Arkansas’s citizens and communities have suffered from these damaging consequences while the manufacturers and distributors of these addictive drugs have made billions in profit. That is why Reddick Law has joined in the fight to protect Arkansas families and hold those who have created this problem responsible for their actions. In March 2018, lawyers from Reddick Law and five other law firms filed a lawsuit on behalf of Arkansas’s counties and cities seeking damages from 65 defendants. The lawsuit alleges that opioid manufacturers and distributors aggressively marketed their drugs while misrepresenting their addictive and dangerous potential and failing to take steps to prevent their diversion and illegal use.
This litigation is unique among a growing number of lawsuits the opioid industry is facing. While a number of individual counties or states have filed suits against opioid manufacturers and distributors, this case represents a unified endeavor by Arkansas’s counties and cities, with 72 counties and 348 cities represented so far, amounting to roughly 90% of Arkansas’s population. “We want to make sure that those on the front lines of responding to this crisis will be the ones who benefit from any potential recovery,” firm co-founder Brian Reddick said. “The increased demand for emergency services, health care, and law enforcement caused by these drugs has really put a strain on our local cities and counties.” If successful, the money recovered from the lawsuit would help create an infrastructure and provide the resources necessary to clean up the devastation that opioids have caused in Arkansas.