Appeals panel questions if opioid distribution is considered a public nuisance

Charleston, WV (AP)- A federal appeals court has asked West Virginia’s highest court whether opioid distributions can cause a public nuisance.

The question Monday came as the federal appeals court reviews a landmark lawsuit against three major U.S. drug distributors.

A federal judge ruled in 2022 in favor of the distributors.

The judge said West Virginia’s Supreme Court has only applied public nuisance law to conduct that interferes with public property or resources.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals says if the Supreme Court rules that the conditions caused by the distribution of a controlled substance don’t constitute a public nuisance, the appeal would be over. 

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