Wisconsin Lawsuit Blames Drug Makers for Opioid Crisis

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) – Nearly two dozen Wisconsin counties say in a federal lawsuit that “nefarious and deceptive” marketing campaigns from pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says local governments’ health and law enforcement services “have been strained to the breaking point” because of widespread opioid abuse. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages from Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Endo Health Solutions, Inc., and subsidiaries of the companies.

More than two dozen states, cities and counties have filed similar lawsuits accusing pharmaceutical companies of making false claims about the dangers of their drugs.

Purdue Pharma said in a statement it “vigorously” denies the allegations. Endo Health Solutions says it can’t comment on pending litigation. Johnson & Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.