Kentucky hospitals suing opioid makers

The suit names Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, and Walmart, among others. (Photo: MGN Online)
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - A group of Kentucky hospitals is suing dozens of opioid makers and distributors saying the companies misrepresented the benefits and dangers of the painkiller.

The complaint filed in Warren County Circuit Court in south-central Kentucky includes hospitals in Bowling Green, Pikeville, Madisonville and several county hospitals.

The civil suit, filed late last month, alleges the opioid epidemic has forced hospitals to add services, hire additional security and provide increased training to staff. It names OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and other producers and sellers of the drugs.

Hundreds of local governments and hospitals across the country have accused pharmaceutical companies of downplaying the addictive nature of opioids and prescription painkillers largely blamed for one of the deadliest drug crises in U.S. history.