Beaver County statistics report that there have been 279 reported cases of overdose deaths from 2012 to 2017. Pharmaceutical companies are legally protected by certain legislation. To hold these companies criminally liable, the Attorney General would need to bring a case against them. Individuals hurt in medical malpractice cases can still seek a resolution through civil courts, so Beaver County has decided to pursue a lengthy and costly case against 23 companies and doctors. In pursuing compensation for wrongful overdose deaths, Beaver County hopes to give pharmaceutical companies a financial incentive to be more cautious about the drugs they manufacture and sell.
Beaver County’s lawsuit argues that these companies and doctors failed to disclose the truth about an individual’s likelihood of becoming addicted to the various substances. Taxpayer dollars have repeatedly been used to react to pharmaceutical overdose deaths, and this claim hopes to encourage other counties to pursue similar cases for impacted residents to recover some of the damages. This is the third case filed by a Pennsylvania county following Lackawanna and Delaware. Several other counties are reportedly considering filing cases of their own.
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