This release of CoMeta introduces a Litagion agent profile for opioid marketing practices and a set of scenarios that explore possible outcomes of ongoing fourth-party litigation seeking to recover the costs of responding to the opioid epidemic.
- Opioid marketing practices. Opioids are a class of drug that includes natural and semi-synthetic pain relievers such as morphine and oxycodone, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and the illegal drug heroin. Sharply increasing prescription volumes in the early 2000s precipitated an epidemic of opioid abuse, dependence, and deadly overdose. Lawsuits filed by fourth-party public and private entities seeking to recover the costs of responding to the opioid epidemic allege manufacturers, distributors, and others engaged in false and deceptive marketing, failed to monitor and report suspicious prescriptions, and created a public nuisance.
It has been known for centuries that opioids are addictive and so ongoing legal actions do not hinge on the science of addiction, but rather on largely untested theories of liability. As we do not currently have a model of legal change, this profile is limited to an enumeration of potential causes of action available to plaintiffs and an exploration, through scenarios, of the scope and distribution of damages should courts accept those causes of action.