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Tiny Colorado county sues giant opioid makers for millions

The lawsuit seeks class-action status

This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File

Huerfano County has sued the nation’s top pharmaceutical companies claiming that its citizens were falsely induced to take highly-addictive opioids for pain management, leading to an epidemic of overdoses and deaths.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status in U.S. District Court in Denver against pharmaceutical companies McKesson Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and numerous subsidiaries.

The lawsuit was filed Sunday by Stephen and Jason Ochs and Pat Mika of Colorado Springs; and Steven Skikos and Mark Crawford of San Francisco. Huerfano County seeks at least $750,000 in economic damages and $1.5 million in future damages.

Huerfano County, in southern Colorado, brought the lawsuit on behalf of its 6,400 residents to “protect the public” from businesses engaging in false advertising, the lawsuit says.

The county is asking for a court order declaring that the pharmaceutical companies violated the federal False Advertising Law. It is also asking that the court enjoin the companies from continuing to make false statements.

Read full story on DenverPost.com.


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