Law firm will seek drug makers that knowingly create and fuel addiction in Davidson County

David Smith | GCA News

The number of Tennesseans who died from drug overdoses jumped 12 percent over the past two years, largely due to growing use of dangerous synthetic opioids.   - photo submitted

The number of Tennesseans who died from drug overdoses jumped 12 percent over the past two years, largely due to growing use of dangerous synthetic opioids.       – photo submitted

The Metro Council is voting this week to authorize Mayor Megan Barry to file suit against makers of prescription opioids.

The council will consider the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP in a resolution “authorizing the Mayor to employ the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, as special counsel, on a contingent fee basis, to investigate, and if appropriate, pursue claims against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids that have wrongfully caused drug addiction in Davidson County and resulting economic harm to the Metropolitan Government.”

The economic impact of opioid addiction may be analyzed in the upcoming investigations, including but not be limited to, the cost of drug addiction treatment, emergency room visits, law enforcement response, incarceration, child abuse and neglect and the cost of removing children from parental custody, as well as medical treatment for prenatal opioid exposure.

“Every day, the opioid epidemic costs our community in lives lost, families destroyed and financial burdens on city services,” Mayor Barry said through a spokesperson during an event in November.

The Metro Council resolution cites “wrongful conduct” by opioid manufacturers as a basis for a potential lawsuit.

The potential lawsuit would seek compensation for money spent my Metro on battling addiction.
Kenneth Byrd is an attorney in the Nashville office of Lieff Cabraser and is listed as the point of contact on the proposal.

In addition to Byrd, the winning proposal lists attorneys from Lieff Cabraser’s offices in San Francisco and New York as part of the proposed team in addition to local attorneys Mark Chalos and John Spragens.