More Washington cities sue drugmakers over opioid crisis

January 26, 2018 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Skagit County and three cities located within it are the latest jurisdictions in Washington state to sue drugmakers over the opioid crisis.

Mount Vernon, Burlington and Sedro Woolley joined the county in filing a federal lawsuit in Seattle Friday against Purdue Pharma, Endo and Janssen, three of the primary manufacturers of prescription painkillers.

The cities of Everett and Tacoma have also filed federal lawsuits against the drug companies, but those cases have been transferred to U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, which is overseeing dozens of similar cases.


Seattle and Washington state have also sued the companies, but in state court.

Skagit County Chief criminal deputy prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula says the companies provided false information to doctors and patients about the safety of the drugs. She notes that more than 125,000 opioid prescriptions were written in Skagit County in 2014 — more prescriptions than there are residents of the county.

The drug companies have disputed the allegations.