INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY AS SIN –
May 1, 2021 – Why is the trial in West Virginia? A year and a half later, Cabell County, which filed its lawsuit in 2017, will argue that the drug distributors failed to refuse and report suspicious orders as the county was inundated with opioids.
From 2006 to 2014, there were more than 81 million prescription hydrocodone and oxycodone pills distributed in the county, enough for 94 pills per year for every man, woman and child. The epidemic fueled by the influx of pain pills has devastated families, spiked crime rates and strained the community’s finite resources, including first responders and foster homes, according to plaintiffs. During the height of the crisis, the West Virginia county had a higher overdose death rate than the opioid-ravaged state.
Attorneys representing Cabell County and Huntington are seeking $500 million from the three companies for recovery efforts to abate the crisis and to offer resources to those who were most impacted. The verdict of this trial could lay the groundwork for settlements in other jurisdictions.