2 more West Virginia counties sue drug companies

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Two more West Virginia communities have joined others around the state in suing drug companies over the opioid epidemic.

Media report the Berkeley County Council and the Jefferson County Commission filed lawsuits recently against drug manufacturers and distributors, accusing them of fueling the local opioid epidemic by shipping too many pain pills. The companies have denied wrongdoing.

The move comes shortly before a hearing where a panel of judges will decide whether to consolidate dozens of similar lawsuits filed across West Virginia and other states.

Martinsburg lawyer Stephen Skinner, who’s representing the two counties, says he favors consolidating the cases to get efficient justice. Media report at least eight local governments in West Virginia oppose combining the lawsuits, saying it would drive up costs.

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