Michigan governments sue to recover costs tied to opioids

Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — Cities and counties across Michigan are the latest to sue drug companies and retailers over the consequences of excessive opioid use.

They want the companies to reimburse local governments for the costs of responding to the crisis.

Lawsuits were filed Tuesday in federal court by Macomb County, Detroit, Genesee County, Saginaw County, Grand Traverse County, Delta County, Chippewa County, Lansing and Escanaba. Wayne and Oakland counties filed a lawsuit in October over marketing practices.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Grand Rapids City Commission voted unanimously to join the lawsuit.

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Lawyers want the cases added to litigation that’s active in Ohio federal court.

Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, agrees there’s an opioid abuse crisis. It supports efforts to limit the number of tablets during a first prescription.

The state says roughly 1,700 people died from opioid overdoses in Michigan in 2016, up 33 percent over 2015.

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