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As West Virginia drug overdose deaths increase, Huntington, Cabell County first in country to face distributors in courtroom

By Courtney Hessler, The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Cabell County and the city of Huntington are set to go to trial Monday against drug distributors they accuse of helping to fuel the area’s drug epidemic.

At stake is up to $500 million or $1.25 billion to help local communities deal with the damages from the opioid abuse epidemic.

Cabell County’s lawsuit was filed in March 2017, with Huntington following. It alleges AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. — the “Big Three” — hold some responsibility for the drug crisis after more than 80 million doses of opioid medication was sent to the area in an eight-year period.

The cases, initially filed by Huntington native Paul T. Farrell Jr., seek damages and reimbursement for costs associated with past and future efforts to eliminate the hazard. The wholesalers had a duty to monitor, detect, investigate, refuse and report suspicious orders of prescription opiates originating from Cabell County and failed to do so, it said. The duty is outlined under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

More than 2,000 other similar cases have been filed since, but the West Virginia governments are at the forefront of the battle and the first to see trial…

To read more: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/as-w-va-drug-overdose-deaths-increase-huntington-cabell-county-first-in-country-to-face/article_d4137853-5f50-5649-bb97-f63064491542.html

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