West Virginia opioid trial seeks more than $1B from AmerisourceBergen, McKesson & Cardinal Health

Huntington, W.Va., and the surrounding Cabell County began arguments May 3 for a federal trial in which they are seeking more than $1 billion from opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Cardinal Health.

In the lawsuit, Huntington and Cabell County allege the distributors let their highly addictive opioids flood pharmacies, causing dramatic spikes in addiction and overdoses. They allege the drugmakers should have taken greater care to ensure regulation so that the prescription drugs weren't diverted for recreational use.

If Huntington and Cabell County win the trial, the money will be put toward local addiction and community improvement efforts.

Huntington and Cabell County pushed for a trial, even after the state's attorney general settled with the three distributors for $73 million between 2017 and 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The trial is underway, despite the three distributors — as well as Johnson & Johnson — offering $26 billion to settle all opioid litigation across the U.S.

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