Two counties each in Kansas and Missouri have sued over a dozen drug manufacturers and distributors for their contributions to the opioid crisis, and accused nine of those companies of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Bourbon County, Kansas, claimed in its suit that the defendants are at fault due to their deceptive marketing and unlawful distribution of the prescription drugs (due to expanding distribution while being classified under the Controlled Substances Act), and that it and the other counties have been fronting the money for the costs of the healthcare crisis. Opioid racketeering lawsuits have been filed in Alabama, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, all using a similar basis for the arguments.


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Two Kansas counties and two Missouri counties this week joined a growing tide of legal challenges to the opioid epidemic by accusing pharmaceutical companies of racketeering.

Montgomery and Bourbon counties in Kansas and Lafayette and Worth counties in Missouri filed suits in federal court against more than a dozen manufacturers and distributors, alleging nine of them are in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Bourbon County said in its suit that it is acting “to abate the public nuisance caused by rampant and uncontrolled opioid use and addiction, and to recoup taxpayer monies that have been spent because of defendants’ false, deceptive and unfair marketing and/or unlawful diversion and distribution of prescription opioids.”


The counties are represented by the Kansas City law firm of Wagstaff & Cartmell among others. Similar opioid RICO lawsuits have been filed in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Alabama. Click Here to Continue Reading

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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