Reddick Law part of legal team that recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of Arkansas cities and counties from opioid manufacturers and distributors for role in opioid epidemic.
Reddick Law is proud to be part of the legal team that 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 the 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 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 in Crittenden on behalf of Arkansas’s counties and cities. The lawsuit alleged that opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies 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 was unique among a growing number of lawsuits targeting the opioid industry. While a number of individual counties or states across the country had filed suits against opioid manufacturers and distributors, this case represented a unified endeavor by Arkansas’s participating 75 counties and 500 cities which included representation for 100% of the state’s population.
The opioid industry raked in billions of dollars in profits while inflicting inconceivable devastation on families and communities across the nation. As a result, city and county resources have been stretched beyond their limits while responding to the increased demand for emergency services, health care, and law enforcement caused by these drugs. “One of our primary goals was to make sure that those on the front lines of responding to this crisis would be the ones who benefit from any potential recovery,” firm founder Brian Reddick said. “Arkansas cities and counties have spent billions of dollars combatting the opioid epidemic and it’s going to take billions of dollars more to end it. We believe that the companies responsible for this widespread devastation should foot the bill, not the Arkansas taxpayers.”
In 2021, the cities and counties of Arkansas, along with the state, reached a $216 million settlement with opioid manufactures and distributers. This successful recovery resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars going to education, future prevention of opioid abuse and addiction, and treatment centers in Arkansas. Reddick Law is honored to have worked hand-in-hand with city, county, and state officials to represent all Arkansans in this groundbreaking litigation, and we are immensely proud to have achieved such a monumental result for our state and fellow citizens.