Illinois county sues opioid makers for painkiller epidemic

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwest Illinois county is suing pharmaceutical companies, alleging the prescription painkiller epidemic is worse due to deceptive marketing. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the Jersey County lawsuit was filed against the makers of opioids, including OxyContin, Dilaudid, Opana, Percocet and others. This is at least the second opioid lawsuit to be filed by an Illinois county this year. St. Clair County filed their lawsuit in April. The Jersey County suit alleges that drug companies funded “key opinion leaders” to give deceptive talks and show false studies about the drugs to doctors, professional societies and patient groups. It seeks $50,000 for every violation of the Illinois Fraud Act, an extra $10,000 per violation of the Act for people 65 and older, and attorney fees.