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Colorado county blames drug firms for opioid epidemic in lawsuit

By: The Associated Press
January 30, 2018 Updated: January 30, 2018 at 5:44 pm
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photo - This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)
This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison) 

DENVER — A Colorado county has filed a lawsuit against big pharmaceutical companies, blaming them for the statewide opioid overdoes epidemic.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports the lawsuit, filed Sunday by Huerfano County, alleges the companies "falsely trivialized or failed to disclose the known risks of long-term opioid use."

The county seeks money from the companies as compensation for costs of public services the county otherwise would have not incurred. The lawsuit claims "past economic damages exceeding $750,000" and contends future damages exceeding $1.5 million will occur, but does not appear to explain how those amounts were calculated.

The lawsuit seeks a court order against the companies to stop making "any further false or misleading statements."

Among the defendants are Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corp., Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Purdue Frederick company.

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