ATLANTA — Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has announced that the Metro Atlanta Business Case Division Judges Committee has granted a motion to transfer the state’s opioid litigation to the business case division of Gwinnett County Superior Court.
“As we continue our multi-pronged fight against the opioid epidemic, we are pleased our lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors has been transferred to the Business Case Division of the Gwinnett County Superior Court,” Carr said. “This is the proper venue for a case of this complexity and is good news for the people of Georgia.”
Carr’s office said it filed this action to protect its citizens from the effects of the nationwide opioid crisis. Defendants are manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids.
In this lawsuit, the state alleges these companies engaged in a campaign of deceptive and unfair marketing practices meant to downplay the risks and inflate the benefits of opioids to fuel artificial demand for their addictive products. Once they unleashed opioids into Georgia, the lawsuit alleges, defendants failed to prevent the diversion of their drugs away from legitimate medical providers and pharmacies and into the black market.
Officials said the result has lit and fueled the ongoing opioid crisis, strained Georgia’s coffers and imposed a crushing human toll on the state’s communities.
Carr said this case requires a forum equipped to handle significant demands on time and resources, prompting a request that this matter be approved for transfer to the business case division of Gwinnett superior court. The state’s motion is available by request or at law.ga.gov.
Other ways Carr’s office is working in this space includes:
♦ Increasing communication and coordination through the Statewide Opioid Task Force;
♦ Cracking down on illegal prescribing through the Medicaid Fraud Division;
♦ Raising awareness about the dangers of opioid abuse;
♦ Partnering with agencies to reduce the stigma associated with opioid abuse; and
♦ Conducting training opportunities for law enforcement and prosecutors.