After son's overdose, surgery center nurse backs lawsuit against 2+ opioid makers

Chester County, Pa., plans to sue at least two opioid manufacturers, alleging they violated the federal Controlled Substances Act, The Philadelphia Tribune reports.

1. Chester County plans to file the lawsuit against drugmakers Malvern, Pa.-based Endo and Frazer, Pa.-based Cephalon. Additional defendants may be added when the lawsuit is filed next month.

The lawsuit will allege the companies used deceptive marketing to increase opioid sales and deceived physicians and patients about risks associated with the drugs.

2. Weeks prior to the lawsuit announcement Jan. 16, surgery center nurse Beth Perz lost her son Brad Perz, 24, to an opioid overdose. He had been prescribed Percocet for a kidney stone and became addicted to the Endo-manufactured drug.

3. Ms. Perz, who lives and works in Chester County, said she believes physicians regularly overprescribe opioids.

"It's a disgrace," she said at the press conference announcing the lawsuit. "They don't need it — it sits in the cabinet and a 16-, 17-year-old gets a hold of it. And then that's the beginning."

4. Philadelphia; the state of Delaware; three Pennsylvania counties and one New Jersey county have filed lawsuits similar to the one Chester County intends to file. In 2018, more than 100 people in the county fatally overdosed.

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