SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A Sullivan County judge denied a request by opioid makers that would have allowed those companies to withhold documents in a lawsuit filed by area district attorneys, according to attorney Gerard Stranch.
Prosecutors in our three judicial districts filed the lawsuit in June on behalf of a child they call “Baby Doe,” who they say was born addicted to opioids.
Stranch said a judge is now giving Purdue Pharma and its related companies, Mallinckrodt PLC and Endo Pharmaceuticals, 14 days to hand over internal records. He believes those documents will prove the companies’ role in the region’s drug addiction problem.
“I think once we get the real documents they’re going to show that they absolutely knowingly participated in the illegal drug market here,” Stranch said.
The attorney said in the months since the district attorneys filed their lawsuit, mothers have given birth to 78 babies addicted to drugs in upper East Tennessee. He said 48 of those babies came from Sullivan County alone.