Kenova sues drug companies for opioid epidemic

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 30, 2019

CHARLESTON — The City of Kenova filed a lawsuit against the drug manufacturers who caused the opioid crisis currently underway in West Virginia.

During the creation and inflation of the opioid epidemic, the defendants knew of the dangerously addictive qualities and high rates of loss and misappropriation of their drugs, but their profits played a roll in creating and allowing the public nuisance to exist, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Kenova claims the defendants played a significant role in creating the epidemic by flooding the city with an excessive amount of dangerous and addictive medications.

The defendants falsely marketed opioids and dangerously encouraged doctors to prescribe them, according to the suit.

Kenova claims the defendants mischaracterized the benefits of and evidence for long-term use and overstated opioids' effect on patients' function and quality of life.

Collectively, the defendants sold more than eight million doses of prescription opioids to retailers in Wayne County, where Kenova is located. The county's population is 42,481, according to the 2010 U.S. Census report, according to the suit.

Kenova claims the defendants also delayed response to the opioid crisis by pretending the cooperate with law enforcement.

The city is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. It is represented by Charles R. "Rusty" Webb of The Webb Law Centre and John D. Hurst of Motley Rice.

AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation, Purdue Pharma, The Purdue Frederick Company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, Noramco, Endo Health, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Par Pharmaceutical, Mallinckrodt, Specgx, CVS Indiana, Rite Aid Mid-Atlantic Customer Support Center, Top RX and Wal-mart Stores East were named as defendants in the suit.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:18-cv-01472

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Organizations in this Story

Motley Rice The Webb Law Centre PLLC U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Charleston Division

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