CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — Hospitals in West Virginia have banded together to sue some of the country’s largest opioid companies, saying they flooded Appalachia with powerful painkillers and forced medical centers to deal with the financial repercussions.
Nearly thirty West Virginia hospitals and 10 affiliates in Kentucky have signed onto the suit filed Monday, which their lawyer says is the first time a large group of hospitals have taken legal action against opioid firms.
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and members of its controlling family, the Sacklers, are named as defendants along with distributors such as AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health. The companies did not respond to voicemails seeking comment.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages to cover the costs of treating people with opioid addictions. West Virginia has the nation’s highest opioid overdose rate.