[JURIST] Two more lawsuits have been filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors by the state of Montana and a county in Kentucky alleging that the opioid epidemic was part of a business plan, alleging statutory negligence, civil conspiracy, fraud and other complaints.
The Montana lawsuit [complaint, PDF], filed in the First Judicial District Court of Lewis and Clark County [official website], alleges that defendants, Purdue Pharma., used practices "to promote opioids deceptively and illegally in order to significantly increase sales and generate billions of dollars in revenue." The complaint claims that the company misrepresents the risks and benefits of opioids, which has led to "the rampant use, overuse, and abuse of opioids [that] is devastating Montana and its families."
The Kentucky lawsuit [complaint, PDF], brought by the Rowan County Fiscal Court against 19 defendants was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky [official website]. The complaint alleges that "the defendants knowingly traded in drugs that presented a high degree of danger if prescribed incorrectly or diverted to other than legitimate medical, scientific, or industrial channels." The complaint alleges that the companies chose profit over the public safety, leading to the high opioid addiction rates that are stifling the commonwealth.
These are not the first lawsuits filed against opioid companies. In October a lawsuit was filed [JURIST report] in the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania accusing manufacturers and doctors of deceptive acts, fraud, and unjust enrichment. Similar suits have also been filed by Washington state, New Mexico and Missouri [JURIST reports]