Walmart pre-emptively sues US as part of opioid litigation battle

Walmart has sued the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration in anticipation of upcoming civil lawsuits against the retail giant for its pharmacies' opioid dispensing practices.

The company announced the lawsuit Oct. 22, saying the U.S. government is seeking to put undue blame on it and eschewing its own role in the opioid epidemic. Walmart is seeking a federal judge's declaration that the government does not have the grounds to pursue civil damages from the company for filling prescriptions that the government should have noticed were suspicious.

The lawsuit names the justice department, Attorney General William Barr, the DEA, and the DEA's acting administrator, Timothy Shea, as defendants. 

"In the shadow of their own profound failures, DOJ and DEA now seek to retroactively impose on pharmacists and pharmacies unworkable requirements that are not found in any law and go beyond what pharmacists are trained and licensed to perform,” the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, reads.

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