Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: New York Latest State to File Suit Against Perdue Pharma

EDM Friday Briefing: New York Latest State to File Suit Against Perdue Pharma


Emergency and disaster management briefing for August 17, 2018: New York is the latest state to file suit against Perdue Pharma in the ongoing opioid crisis, CSB released its findings on the well explosion in Oklahoma in January that killed 5 people, K2 is likely responsible for 71 overdoses at a park in downtown New Haven, Connecticut on Thursday, Ohio health officials stated that unsafe food storage temperatures led to illnesses at at a Chipotle restaurant in Ohio, a 14-year-old girl was stabbed by a same age boy in Oklahoma on the first day of school, two United Airplanes collided on the ground Wednesday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a new report urges state coordination of early shutdowns of petrochemical plants and oil refineries ahead of impending major storms in Texas, and Yosemite National Park reopened as firefighters gained containment against the Ferguson Fire.

  1. New York is the latest state to file a lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant, Purdue Pharma, LP, over the alleged widespread fraud and deception in their marketing tactics for the sale of OxyContin. The state is blaming the company for its unscrupulous methods of overstating the benefits of opioids and downplaying their highly addictive risk. The opioid crisis across the nation has led to hundreds of cities and 26 states and Puerto Rico to file lawsuits against the company in recent months.  
  2. In an updated report on the natural gas well explosion that killed five people in January, in Pittsburg, Oklahoma, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) stated that the well that exploded may not have been fully sealed. It appears that a drill pipe was removed before it was fully empty of the mud used to seal a well. The incident was the deadliest drilling accident since Deepwater Horizon in 2010, which killed 11 people.
  3. Tests conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) show that K2, a synthetic drug that has marijuana-type effects, was responsible for over 70 overdoses Wednesday in New Haven, Connecticut. The overdoses mostly occurred in a downtown park near Yale University, known as New Haven Green, throughout the day. No deaths occurred as a result of the overdoses, but according to reports, six people were very near death.  
  4. Testing conducted by state health officials in Ohio after food related illnesses were reported regarding a Chipotle restaurant in Powell, Ohio, came back positive for an illness that occurs when food is stored at unsafe temperatures. Although food samples from the restaurant tested negative for clostridium perfringens, stool sample testing came back positive for the toxin it forms. Chipotle has struggled with food illness scares since 2015, and company officials have stated that retraining of all its employees will begin next week.  
  5. A back to school gathering in the auditorium at a school in Luther, Oklahoma, turned violent when a 14-year-old boy stood up and stabbed a girl nearby him repeatedly. Faculty and staff were able to restrain the boy by pinning him up against the wall, and the girl briefly lost consciousness but was stable following surgery. Investigators are looking for a motive, but the suspect is not speaking, and allegedly appears to show no remorse for the incident.  
  6. Two United Airlines planes collided on the ground at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday, causing damage to both of the airplanes. The incident occurred around 4:20 p.m. when Flight 645, bound for Portland, which was taxiing from Gate C30, clipped the left wing of Flight 2746, an aircraft schedule to depart for Cleveland. None of the passengers onboard Flight 645 were injured, and the aircraft for the Cleveland flight was parked at a gate and did not have any passengers on board.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the incident.  
  7. A new report released by the Washington-based Environmental Integrity Project, highly recommends that Texas environmental regulators coordinate shutdowns of petrochemical plants and oil refineries during major storms, such as for Hurricane Harvey. The report points out that an additional 8.3 million pounds of air pollutants, including cancer-causing benzene, were released into the air during Hurricane Harvey. The report notes that majority of the air pollutants were released due to equipment malfunctions and electrical outages--emissions that could have been avoided had early shutdowns been coordinated by the state.  
  8. Yosemite National Park reopened earlier this week after firefighters were able to effectively dig containment lines around 86 percent of the deadly Ferguson Fire. Highway 41, the north-south entrance to the park remains closed, along with the road that accesses the Glacier Point overlook and the road to the Merced Grove of sequoia trees--due to fire in those areas. The fire rapidly spread through steep, rugged, and mostly inaccessible terrain that was heavily burdened with beetle-killed trees, and has now scorched nearly 97,000 acres since it began on July 13.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.