Chester County commissioners file lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies

Ian Bush
January 15, 2019 - 3:56 pm
Commissioners Kathi Cozzone, Chairwoman Michelle Kichline, Terence Farrell (L-R).

Ian Bush/KYW Newsradio

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Pharmaceutical companies in Chester County are among the targets of a federal civil lawsuit announced Tuesday by the county board of commissioners.  

Too many moms are dealing with the kind of pain Beth Perz suffers. 

"I'm here because I have to fight this fight. My son died a month ago," Perz said. 

Her son, Brad, was 24 when he died of an opioid overdose. 

“He died in my arms. I tried to resuscitate him. To me, that’s a gift. I brought him into this life, and I was there when he died," Perz said. 

A photo of Brad Perz and his mother, Beth Perz.
Ian Bush/KYW Newsradio

Andy Rumford's daughter Kacie was 23. 

"The opioid epidemic destroys families, and it's shattered mine," Rumford said. 

A photo of Kacie Rumford.
Ian Bush/KYW Newsradio

For these and the more than 400 other overdose deaths in Chester County over the last four years, Commissioners Chairwoman Michelle Kichline says drugmakers, including Endo in Malvern and Cephalon in Frazer, must shoulder blame. 

"There is no compensation great enough to cover the cost of lives we have lost to opioid addiction," Kichline said. 

The money they are seeking will go to addiction prevention and recovery efforts, and also to punish Big Pharma for what the commissioners contend are deceptive marketing practices.

Neither company named by the commissioners has commented on the lawsuit. Both Endo and Teva, Cephalon's parent company, have made previous statements regarding the opioid crisis.