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Palm Beach County files 266-page lawsuit against dozens of companies in opioid crisis

Posted at 10:02 AM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-06 12:59:47-04

Palm Beach County has filed suit against dozens of companies and firms who it says is responsible for the opioid epidemic impacting our area.

RELATED: More Conquering Addiction coverage

The suit says the county was “forced to expend exorbitant amounts of money, due to the epidemic and as a direct result of the actions of defendants.”

Some of the defendants named include major companies like: Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma. 

“This case is about one thing: corporate greed. Defendants put their desire for profits above the health and well-being of Palm Beach County consumers at the cost of plaintiff,” the suit says. 

The county says the companies used unfair and deceptive practices as late as the 1990s to realize "blockbuster profits."

Last year Palm Beach County recorded nearly 600 opioid overdose deaths and says nearly 5,000 people overdosed in Palm Beach County in 2016.

In 2017, the county allocated an additional $3 million in local funding specifically to address the opioid problem. 

This suit aims to recoup some of those cost, which others have been successful at recouping. It has been reported that similar cases have settled for as high as $150 million.

WPTV will begin to reach out to the defendants named in the case, which was filed Thursday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Delray Beach, a city that's been heavily impacted by the opioid crisis, already filed a similar suit last year.