Western Pennsylvania county third to sue over opioid issue
BEAVER, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania county has become the third in the state to sue pharmaceutical companies for allegedly contributing to an opioid addiction crisis that has resulted in thousands of overdoses nationally in recent year.
Attorney Bob Peirce Jr. announced the lawsuit Monday on behalf of Beaver County against 14 drug companies and several doctors the county claims have contributed to 279 overdose deaths there since 2012.
Delaware County, near Philadelphia, was the first to file such a lawsuit in Pennsylvania in September, followed by Lackawanna County.
Peirce says unlike litigation in which some governments sought damages from tobacco companies, Beaver County — and others — can document money spent specifically on emergency responses, autopsies and other costs of overdoses.
Most of the companies being sued have said they’re already taking steps to curb opioid abuse.