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Ohio county sues 20+ opioid manufacturers and distributors

[JURIST] In the midst of a growing and devastating opioid epidemic, officials in Lorain County, Ohio, filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas [official website] Friday against 25 large drug companies and distributors of opioids for deceptive and misleading marketing practices.

Loraine County joins a growing list of municipalities filing suit against drug companies for the opioid crisis, including the city of Lorain, Ohio's Lake County and Cuyahoga County, as well as Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine [JURIST report] earlier this year.

The complaint alleges that "the defendants knew — and had known for years — that with prolonged use, the
effectiveness of opioids wanes, requiring increases in doses and markedly increasing the risk of significant side effects and addiction."

The complaint lists ten causes of action, including corrupt practices, deceptive trade practices, public nuisance, fraud, unjust enrichment, among others. The county is seeking compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as a jury trial.

The suit lists more than 20 drug manufacturers and distributors, including Purdue Pharma, the maker of the painkiller Oxycontin, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Ends Pharmaceuticals, as well as several physicians.

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