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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 20, 2018 04:18 PM
From: Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Urging the Governor and Attorney General to File Lawsuits Against Companies Responsible for Causing Thousands of Overdose Deaths
Nearly 15 people a day die of an opioid overdose in Pennsylvania. I will be introducing a resolution urging the Governor and the Attorney General to file law suits on behalf of all Pennsylvanians against the pharmaceutical and distribution companies responsible for causing the opioid crisis.

Approximately 40 states and 1,500 counties, cities and towns across the country, including many from Pennsylvania, have filed 100’s of lawsuits against these companies. Last year over 72,000 people died from an overdose and experts believe the numbers are even higher because reporting requirements across the county are inconsistent. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 75% of people who enter treatment for a heroin addiction took their first opioid legally from a prescription.

These companies mislead the public about the addictiveness of these powerful opioid drugs and engage in fraud, conspiracy and negligence in the development, marketing and distribution of these drugs. These companies knew use of opioids outside a controlled clinical setting were highly susceptible to abuse and addiction. Nonetheless, these manufactures and distributors made/make billions in profits and will not stop peddling these deadly drugs until we stop them.

The people I talk to are mad as hell and they want the companies responsible for creating this crisis to pay for it. States have historically filed lawsuits against industries who engage in illegal business practices, like the tobacco industry of the 90’s, in order to protect its citizens. My resolution earmarks any funds recovered in a lawsuit or settlement to be used to fund drug, alcohol and mental health treatment. If we succeed we can take a major step to change the behavior of these companies and halt this epidemic.

I implore you to join me and cosponsor this Resolution.

Introduced as HR43