10 opioid epidemic lawsuits filed in 2017

The following lawsuits were filed in the last six months by counties, towns, a state and a federally recognized tribe, seeking to recover funds spent addressing widespread illicit opioid use in each community.

Plaintiffs named in the suits include drugmakers, drug wholesalers, individual physicians and medical clinics.

The lawsuits are listed below, beginning with the most recent.

1. NY county files opioid epidemic suit targeting pharma, drug distributors and physicians

Attorneys representing Nassau County, N.Y., filed a suit on June 14 against drugmakers, drug distributors and physicians for their alleged role in facilitating rising rates of illicit opioid use in the county, according to a report from Newsday.  

2. 9 Tennessee counties file opioid epidemic lawsuit against drugmakers

Three Tennessee district attorneys general filed a lawsuit on June 13 against drugmakers for allegedly contributing to the rising rates of opioid overdoses in the state, according to a report from the Knoxville News Sentinel.

3. Dayton mayor files suit against physicians, drugmakers and drug distributers for role in Ohio opioid crisis

The mayor of Dayton, Ohio, filed a lawsuit on June 5 against physicians, drug manufacturers and drug wholesalers for allegedly contributing to the city's ongoing opioid crisis, according to a release.

4. Ohio AG files suit against 5 drug manufacturers for role in opioid epidemic

Mike DeWine, Ohio's attorney general, filed a lawsuit on May 31 against five opioid manufacturers, accusing the companies of engaging in fraudulent marketing and subsequently fueling the opioid epidemic in the state.

5. New York county sues 4 drugmakers for painkiller marketing practices

A New York state county on May 11 filed a lawsuit against four major drugmakers for their role in the opioid epidemic, reports Reuters.

6. Cherokee Nation files suit against drug wholesalers, pharmacies for role in opioid epidemic

The Cherokee Nation filed a landmark lawsuit April 20, taking aim at the pharmaceutical industry for its role in allegedly flooding the tribe's communities with highly addictive opioid painkillers.

7. West Virginia county files lawsuit against drug wholesalers, pharmacies for role in opioid epidemic

The Cabell County (W.V.) Commission on March 9 filed suit against drug wholesalers and pharmaceutical retailers to recoup finances spent addressing the high rates of opioid abuse in the community, according to a report from The Herald-Dispatch.

8. Another West Virginia town joins ranks of municipalities suing pharma over opioid epidemic

The city of Welch, W.Va., is suing five organizations in the pharmaceutical supply chain for contributing to high rates of opioid drug abuse in the 2,200-person town, according to the West Virginia Record.

9. City in West Virginia sues 3 drug distributors for role in opioid epidemic

The city of Huntington, W.Va., filed suit in Cabell Circuit Court against a local physician, AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., McKesson Corp., and Cardinal Health for their alleged role in contributing to high levels of opioid abuse in the community, according to The Herald-Dispatch.

10. Washington state mayor looks to sue Purdue Pharma, saying it 'openly put OxyContin into black market'

Mayor Ray Stephanson of Everett, Wash., will ask city council to approve a lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals for not taking enough action to curb the illicit sale and use of its opioid painkiller OxyContin, according to KIRO 7.

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