The Town of Greenfield is the newest signatory to a class-action lawsuit against the three largest opioid pharmaceutical distributors (the “Big Three”), McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen. Spearheaded by the leadership of Greenfield Mayor William F. Martin, the lawsuit is being filed by Levin Papantonio of Pensacola, FL.and Sweeney Merrigan Law of Boston, and Greenfield, MA founded by Greenfield natives Thomas T. Merrigan, Peter M. Merrigan and J. Tucker Merrigan.
The goal of the lawsuit is to recoup local and town budget dollars spent for law enforcement, needle exchanges, Narcan, education/prevention, treatment costs (where applicable), etc., and ultimately to develop new policy and law to protect individuals and communities moving forward. The pharmaceutical distributors face state law liability for negligence. The standard of care is established by the industry standards as outlined in HDMA’s “Guidelines,” the federal statutes and regulations, and by applicable state law. The named distributors in the lawsuit violated this standard of care by breaching their duty to identify and report suspicious opioid orders to the DEA or other relevant state agencies.
“There is a genuine cost to the municipality in both monetary and psychological terms,” said Mayor William F. Martin. “As the capital of Franklin County and the provider of multiple county services, from hospitals, courts, corrections facilities, and social support, the Greenfield community must intervene and act for the benefit and survival of individuals, families and the broader county.”
“The opioid epidemic is hitting Massachusetts communities like Greenfield harder than we could have ever imagined,” said Peter M. Merrigan, partner and attorney at Sweeney Merrigan Law. “In addition to the emotional pain the epidemic is causing, the rapidly increasing financial costs to Massachusetts city and town budgets is creating long term economic damages. Sweeney Merrigan Law is working with Greenfield and other Massachusetts communities to hold pharmaceutical companies and opioid distributors accountable, to recoup financial losses and ease the ongoing strain on the communities.”
The Town of Greenfield is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, a designated Green Community and a recipient of the “Leading by Example” Award. The Levin Papantonio law firm is currently representing numerous governmental agencies against wholesale distributors and manufacturers of opioids in order to recover the immense damages they have sustained. Based on long-standing relationship between the firms, Levin Papantonio has partnered with Sweeney Merrigan Law for local representation of Massachusetts towns and cities who want to take action toward stopping the epidemic and recover the considerable financial costs this epidemic has caused to Massachusetts communities.
The Levin Papantonio firm and Sweeney Merrigan Law firm will be hosting an information session for interested Massachusetts towns and Mayors on Monday, October 23rd at 3:00 p.m. at Greenfield Town Hall, 14 Court Square, Greenfield.