Posted by 19 August 2020
Contending that CVS and Walmart contributed to the state’s opioid crisis, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has filed suit against these companies.
In his lawsuit, Attorney General Morrisey claims that the companies should have monitored suspiciously large orders of opioids and refused to deliver them to retailers in the state. He says that corporate practices led to West Virginians becoming addicted to opioids and causing significant harm to the state.
This suit is one of many filed by state and local governments against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. At the base of these suits is the idea that companies knew these drugs caused harm and were being misused, but did nothing to stop them. These suits allege that these companies’ policies encouraged the use of opioids, making the problem worse. They argue that companies should have taken steps to stem the flow of opioids to consumers once they realized that people were abusing the drugs.
These suits are not without controversy, however. Critics point out that opioids are legal drugs that have legitimate purposes. They contend that the companies did nothing illegal in their actions, and that they are not responsible for people who misuse the drugs. Some allege that the politicians filing the suits are simply looking for easy money from deep-pocketed companies.
In total, states like West Virginia are seeking over $26 billion in compensation for opioid-related harms.
Do you think that states should sue drug makers and retailer over the opioid crisis?