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*** UPDATED x1 *** Fed up unions sue opioid industry

Thursday, Feb 7, 2019

* This new lawsuit sounds interesting

According to the Centers for Disease Control, construction workers have the highest rate of opioid-related overdoses compared to any other occupation in the country. The Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters lost two of its members in the last couple months. [Gary Perinar], who heads the union, said the problems are also costing their union health fund millions of dollars as more and more carpenters struggle with opioid addictions.

“It affects their ability to perform on a job site, it hurts our contractors with respect to productivity, it’s a downward spiral in moving forward in a carpentry career,” he said.

The carpenters union teamed up with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 to file a groundbreaking lawsuit in hopes of holding drug manufacturers, distributors and doctors accountable. They are the first unions in Illinois to take legal action against several pharmaceutical companies, and others.

“The suit accuses the drug companies of fraud, unjust enrichment and conspiracy for the way they falsified research and misled people into believing their opioids were not addictive,” said Ari Scharg, attorney with Edelson PC.

Union attorneys said they are not looking for a settlement. They would rather have the case go to trial to force companies to release information about their drugs.

*** UPDATE *** The complaint is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - phocion - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    Good on the carpenters and local 150. This is one of the reasons unions exists - to actually look after the welfare of their members. Discovery in this case is likely going to reveal immoral, unethical and illegal practices that have been a big reason we are facing an opioid crisis. Let’s see what the Perdue family has been up to.


  2. - Nick Name - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    ===The drug companies are their favorite target to sue, because that is where the money is.===

    What part of “Union attorneys said they are not looking for a settlement” did you not understand?


  3. - Chris Widger - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==What part of “Union attorneys said they are not looking for a settlement” did you not understand?==

    That’s a leverage move, not an earnest claim. Nothing wrong with it, but they’d settle in a second if they got a decent offer. There’s nothing wrong with the lawsuit; you pick fruit where it grows.


  4. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==What part of “Union attorneys said they are not looking for a settlement” did you not understand?==

    Is best to ignore the anonymous commenters. None of them ever have anything useful to add to the discussion, at best they just copy/paste whatever Fox News talking points they can remember. They’re the trump twitter feed of capfax comments


  5. - My Little Friend - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    Keep this in mind - look at ratio of prescribed addictives to those found smuggled in from out of the country. Granted, Big Pharma is no way faultless in this but you have look at the other monster in the room which is the clandestine opiate manufacturers, usually originating in Asia and South America. I’ll let someone else go there about borders and such.


  6. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    I wonder if the union would be ok with the carpenters using medical marijuana as an alternative.


  7. - Giroud - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    But a poster named “Lester Holt’s Mustache” isn’t anonymous writing Bernie Sanders style talking points?


  8. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    ==But a poster named “Lester Holt’s Mustache” isn’t anonymous writing Bernie Sanders style talking points?==

    I can see how it would look that way to a guy who just got here. Stick around for a few weeks, you might learn different


  9. - Big Jer - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:37 pm:

    Rather than ideological sound bites how about some data?

    https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/02/06/purdue-pharma-sackler-family-opioids-massachusetts-maura-healey

    ===that members of the Sackler family (Purdue Pharma which is a main producer of Opioids) personally and directly pushed sales reps to mislead doctors, steer patients to higher dosages, and pocket profits in the billions==

    Here is a more balanced link looks at the opioid crisis in due to multiple factors. Yes the drug companies are an easy target and justifiably so but it is also predatory capitalism and twelve hour shifts, etc.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/lawsuit-pharmaceutical-companies-opioids/529020/

    Several years ago I occasionally took Vicodin for back pain. I would tell my primary doctor or orthopedic doc I needed Vicodin and would be given a script for way more pills than I needed. Now? I get non refillable 30 pills per script and the doctors check when was the last time I had a prescription renewed. Big difference.


  10. - Nick Name - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    ===That’s a leverage move, not an earnest claim.===

    The complaint is headlined, “COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL.”


  11. - Big Guy - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 5:01 pm:

    Not sure they will get what they are asking for, as hundreds if not thousands of similar lawsuits are being consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.


  12. - Perrid - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 5:03 pm:

    Guys, the lawyers themselves said they want the data they would get from discovery more than they want to settle. That’s a pretty good lie if it’s just a bluff to get a bigger settlement.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 5:06 pm:

    I support treating opioid addiction as a medical problem more than criminal behavior. Selling illegal drugs and encouraging addiction are criminal behaviors and I would support harsh punishment.


  14. - illini - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 5:11 pm:

    @Lester - Don’t you just love the newbies on this site that are totally clueless on many matters we discuss daily? Be patient. We will learn soon enough if they are actually Trolls.


  15. - Barrington - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 5:38 pm:

    Fully support this move.


  16. - Cadillac - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 5:48 pm:

    === - Nick Name - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    ===That’s a leverage move, not an earnest claim.===

    The complaint is headlined, “COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL.” ===

    You don’t understand that complaints can be amended, do you?


  17. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 6:07 pm:

    ===Granted, Big Pharma is no way faultless in this but you have look at the other monster in the room which is the clandestine opiate manufacturers, usually originating in Asia and South America.

    Once the individual is addicted and cut off from the supply by a doctor or simply cannot get enough from the doctor, addicted people turn to illegal supply. If they don’t become addicted in the first place, there is a much, much smaller market for illegal opiates.

    Perdue created this crisis. The Sacklers running the company belong in prison just as much as any other drug traffickers.


  18. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 6:08 pm:

    Purdue


  19. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 6:13 pm:

    Also, what ArchPundit said. I’d add that many who turn to the illegal market also turn to heroin, as it is much cheaper on the black market than pills, patches and the like.


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 6:30 pm:

    Been there done that, I’d be happy to share the massive negatives of prescribed opiate use——it’s absolutely horrendous …….


  21. - m4a - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 7:11 pm:

    Need to sue individuals (CEOs, etc.), so they can be put in jail.


  22. - City Zen - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 9:38 pm:

    Will Local 150 dip into their Fight Back Fund?


  23. - Cornfed - Thursday, Feb 7, 19 @ 11:00 pm:

    Everyone has known, since the nineteenth century, that opioids are addictive.


  24. - Quicksand - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:32 am:

    Physicians are in a panic to the point that legitimate prescriptions for pain relief are being denied to patients. 40,000 Americans die annually from lack of access to our “for Profit” insurance system. Shouldn’t for Medicare for all be a priority?


  25. - MsSWFL - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:02 am:

    Awesome proactive approach. Good luck IUOE 150.


  26. - low level - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:06 am:

    My mom has degenerative discs in her lower back. She cant walk very well and cant sit upright for any length of time. This is non operable at her age.

    Sympathy definitely for people addicted, but remember there are people like her who have chronic pain who do not abuse opiods in any way. They use them so they are not in excruciating pain all day.


  27. - The Hoff - Monday, Feb 11, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    I do agree that going to trial would be the only way to really ascertain the truth and hold these companies accountable for the carnage they inflicted on our communities.


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