City of Yonkers Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Distributors and Manufacturers
YONKERS, NY – June 3, 2019 –
onkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced the City of Yonkers has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of opioids, including Purdue Pharma, for their role in the opioid epidemic that has taken hundreds of Yonkers residents’ lives and has devastated families.
According to the complaint filed in Westchester County Court, millions of dollars each year are spent by taxpayers to provide and pay for health care, services, pharmaceutical care and other necessary services and programs on behalf of residents whom are indigent or otherwise eligible for services, including payments through services such as Medicaid for prescription opioids which are manufactured, marketed, promoted, sold, and/or distributed by Purdue Pharma. The City of Yonkers also provides a wide range of other services to its residents, including law enforcement, services for families and children, and public assistance as a result of those addicted to opioids.
“This is our call to arms. Sadly, the rise of opioid deaths in this country has become an epidemic and has infiltrated our communities,” said Mayor Spano. “One hundred and fifteen Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. Now more than ever, we need to crack down on this growing attack on our residents and place the responsibility on those who hold no regard for the lives they target and destroy. Big pharmas’ deceptive and careless marketing practices have led to the drain of resources by local municipalities needed to combat this growing epidemic. While we continually provide grassroots outreach programs to assist those who are addicted, we also must recoup and seek the remediation of costs spent to care for these individuals.”
Police Commissioner Charles Gardner stated, “The Yonkers Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our community members; Yonkers Police Officers and investigators have responded to hundreds of opioid related incidents, overdoses, and crimes in an effort to save lives and combat this national epidemic. Those companies that have engaged in deceptive, unlawful, or illegal conduct must be held accountable for their actions in a court of law.”
Yonkers Councilman John Rubbo stated, “While there is an appropriate use of opioids, Big Pharma has endorsed the reckless distribution of these highly addictive drugs. When I first spoke to Mayor Spano about this epidemic early in my first term in February 2018, he embraced the idea of seeking justice on behalf of all of Yonkers. This problem has touched communities all across the country and it is time that we address its effects on our city,” added Rubbo.
The manufacturers named in the complaint include Purdue Pharma and its affiliates, members of the Sackler Family (owners of Purdue) and trusts they control, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its affiliates (including its parent company Johnson & Johnson), Mallinckrodt LLC and its affiliates, Endo Health Solutions and its affiliates, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its affiliates and Allergan Finance, LLC and its affiliates. The distributors named in the complaint are McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health Inc., Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation, and Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc.
Yonkers joins communities across New York State which have filed suit against big pharma companies to remediate costs associated to the opioid epidemic, including New York City, Ithaca, Plattsburgh, Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Westchester County.