TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pinal County Attorney’s office has filed a lawsuit seeking damages caused by the national opioid epidemic.
In a statement released this morning, the county attorney’s office cited both “societal and financial harm” done to Pinal County residents at the hands of opioid manufacturers, distributors, prescribers and dispensers. The county seeks the return of taxpayer money lost as a result of the opioid crisis, according to a press release.
“By filing this lawsuit, the County is making it clear that our community will not simply stand by as the residents of Pinal County suffer, and will continue to suffer, while the defendant manufacturers, distributors, prescribers and dispensers continue to profit from their sales and distribution of highly addictive drugs,” a part of the statement reads.
The lawsuit calls out over a dozen defendants, including corporate giants like Johnson and Johnson, Walgreens and Costco, for “downplaying” the addictive effects of opioids and taking advantage of vulnerable Pinal County residents. It accuses prescribers of flooding the county with more opioid prescriptions than medically necessary and manipulating patients with opioid discount cards.
The county will file suit in Pinal County Superior Court rather than federal courts in Ohio because the case is rooted in Arizona state law, according to Thursday’s release.