Columbus files lawsuit against drug companies, distributors over opioid addiction epidemic

File photo - CBS News / 60 Minutes

The city of Columbus has filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors saying they are responsible for the opioid addiction epidemic.

Columbus is joining other cities such as Cincinnati and Dayton who have filed similar lawsuits.

The city filed the suit against three distributors, including Dublin-based Cardinal Health.

You can read the document filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus here.

Columbus City Council President Zach Klein released the following statement:

Today, the City of Columbus filed a lawsuit in federal court against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and certain key opinion leaders regarding their involvement and participation in creating our current opioid epidemic. It is true that we attempted to work with certain named defendants to resolve this matter independent of litigation, but we didn’t have a willing partner. We have a duty to the citizens of our city, as well as those children, families, and friends who are negatively affected by the promotion of opioids. Our goal is, and will always will be, fighting to help those families and kids whose lives are impacted.

Cardinal Health issued the following statement:

“As a longstanding and involved member of the Columbus community, we are disappointed that the City chose to file this copycat lawsuit. While we do not believe litigation is the solution to this problem, we will defend ourselves vigorously against this baseless lawsuit.

The people of Cardinal Health care deeply about opioid abuse and addiction. We believe there is an urgent need to work towards real and meaningful solutions, right now! We are actively engaged in solving this complex public health crisis and saving lives. This is why we launched our new Opioid Action Program last month, which augments our already substantial efforts to combat opioid abuse, including the significant investment in state-of-the-art controls to effectively combat the diversion of pain medications from legitimate uses.

Thousands of Cardinal Health employees are passionately committed to helping make their city a better place to live and they voluntarily give of their time and resources to this community every single day.”

Filed under: