Missoula County becomes latest to sue over opioid crisis

Published 01-23-2019

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Missoula County is the latest among a slate of city, county, state and tribal governments in Montana to sue drug companies over the nation's opioid crisis.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula on Tuesday accuses more than 20 drug manufacturers and distributors of being responsible for the crisis that has increased the costs to the county's justice and social service systems.

At least four other Montana lawsuits have been filed against the makers of OxyContin and other prescription drugs. Three were moved to federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, where more than 1,000 similar cases from across the nation have been consolidated.

The Ohio judge sent the state's lawsuit against Purdue Pharma back to Montana District Court last summer.

The Blackfeet Indian Tribe voluntarily dismissed the fourth Montana lawsuit, which it filed in June.

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