OxyContin settlement sets precedent for Wichita County lawsuit

OxyContin settlement sets precedent for Wichita County lawsuit

WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - The $270 million settlement that the makers of Oxycontin agreed to in Oklahoma is a good sign for litigators across the country fighting the opioid crisis.

Brad Altman is representing Wichita County and other Texoma counties that have taken action against multiple manufacturers like the Purdue Pharma.

“The evidence is beginning to form a really strong picture just exactly how the Sackler family decided how they could really monetize getting folks addicted to opiates,” Altman said about their findings so far.

The Sackler family faces over 1,500 similar lawsuits around the country.

Altman stated that there are two goals they are pursuing in their own lawsuit, “We want to curtail opiate drug abuse, and then secondly is just the financial toll it has taken on these counties.”

As of 2016 there were 100 prescriptions per 100 people in Wichita County. For Childress, another county Altman represents, the ratio is even higher ranking them number one for the highest prescription rate in Texas.

He said it has led to more drug related crimes and a rise in county funded healthcare costs.

Since filing a lawsuit in 2018, Altman said they have gathered over 300 pages of facts and statistics that support their case. The recent settlement in Oklahoma makes their case just that more solid.

There is hope it will lead to more ethical business practices.

Altman said, “The evidence has become so strong about how this opiate epidemic occurred through the fault of these pharmaceutical companies. It’s a long road to go because you’re talking about these pharmaceutical companies making billions of dollars. They’re not going to do it on their own so now we have to force them to do it.”

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