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Hospitals are Filing Lawsuits Against the Opioid Industry’s Major Players

— October 3, 2019

Hospitals are filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and others hoping to regain funds spent on crisis.

A group of seven Virginia hospitals and 33 Tennessee hospitals has filed a lawsuit against the opioid crisis’ major players, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.  The lawsuit accuses these companies of “negligence, fraud, and civil conspiracy,” and indicates the hospitals have been “incurred massive costs by providing uncompensated care as a result of opioid-related conditions.”  The more than 300-page complaint claims the pharmaceutical companies downplayed the risk of opioid addiction and deceptively marketed the drugs.

Addiction Campuses’ Brian Sullivan said, “Most of the people who do overdose don’t have insurance or the financial ability to cover the costs of going into the hospital and needing to seek treatment and going through detox sometimes, and hospitals, unfortunately, bare a large brunt of that cost.”  He added this could be a way for industry players to share in the substantial cost of the crisis.

Hospitals are Filing Lawsuits Against the Opioid Industry's Major Players
Photo by Gilberto Olimpio on Unsplash

The hospitals involved in the lawsuit are as follows:

Bristol Regional Medical Center

Dickenson Community Hospital, Clintwood, VA

Franklin Woods Community Hospital, Johnson City

Greeneville Community Hospital, Greeneville, TN

Hancock County Hospital, Sneedville

Hawkins County Community Hospital, Rogersville

Henderson Community Hospital, Lexington

Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport

Indian Path Community Hospital, Kingsport

Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City

Johnson County Community Hospital, Mountain City

Johnston Memorial Hospital, Abingdon, VA

Lonesome Pine Hospital, Big Stone Gap, VA

Mountain View Medical Center, Norton, VA

Norton Community Hospital, Norton, VA

Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Johnson City

Russell County Hospital, Lebanon, VA

Saint Francis Hospital, Bartlett

Saint Francis Hospital, Memphis

Smyth County Community Hospital, Marion, VA

St. Thomas Hospital for Specialty Surgery, Nashville

Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Elizabethton

Tennova Healthcare-Clarksville

Tennova Healthcare-Cleveland

Tennova Healthcare-Harton, Tullahoma

Tennova Healthcare, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, Jefferson City

Tennova Healthcare, LaFollette Medical Center, LaFollette

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon

Tennova Healthcare, Newport Medical Center, Newport

Tennova Healthcare-North Knoxville and Turkey Creek

Tennova Healthcare-Shelbyville

Unicoi County Hospital, Erwin

Woodridge Hospital, Johnson City

According to the announcement, officials say they have “received little to no reimbursement for the services they have provided.”

The decision for Tennessee and Virginia hospitals to file suit follows close behind a group of nearly three dozen Florida hospitals that filed a civil lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.  This complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida, alleging “ negligence, fraud and civil conspiracy.”

William R. Scherer, attorney with Conrad & Scherer, L.L.P., who is representing the Florida hospitals believes they are major players for change. “No party is better positioned, given the appropriate financial resources, to lead us out of this public health crisis than our hospitals,  They have measurable damages and must be active participants in any opioid settlement discussions.”

In August, the American Hospital Association asked a judge presiding over one of the opioid cases “to ensure that needed funds are directed to the hospitals and health systems that are on the forefront of caring for the victims of this epidemic.  With additional resources, hospitals can broaden access to post-overdose treatment in emergency departments, increase training of physicians to treat substance use disorders, cover the costs of lengthy stays and follow-up care for infants with neonatal abstinence disorder, and invest in electronic health information systems to improve coordinated care and prevent overprescribing.”


Addicted: Hospitals in Tennessee, Virginia file lawsuit against opioid manufacturers

Tennessee, Virginia hospitals file opioid lawsuit

Florida Hospitals File Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors

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