Bexar County's billion dollar lawsuit against Big Pharma over the opioid overdose crisis now has a court date, for October of 2020, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
County Judge Nelson Wolff says that means it will join a similar lawsuit filed by Dallas County, to become the first opioid case heard in Texas.
"It will be a major endeavor not unlike what happened in the tobacco case many many years ago," Wolff said.
He says because, unlike cases filed in other states, the Texas cases are not consolidated, that means any damages awarded will stay in Bexar County. That would be different from the tobacco lawsuits, because in that case, it was the state that sued, and local governments only received leftover funding.
Bexar County is suing, claiming that the big pharmaceutical companies misled physicians and patients about the addictive dangers of opioid painkillers, resulting in a rush of emergency visits to hospitals, which cost county taxpayers a fortune. The lawsuit claims that $1 billion is a 'conservative estimate of the cost incurred by Bexar County taxpayers.
The lawsuits also allege fraud and misrepresentation, as well as violation of deceptive trade practices.
The defendants in the case include two dozen pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, Activis Laboratories, Mylan, Inc and Cardinal Health LLC. It alleges that the companies dumped so many opioids into the county, that it would have provided enough meds for every man, woman, and child in the county to sull the pain for 11 days each year.