Associated Press Published

W.Va. Towns Fight Back: Drug Wholesalers Face Suits


Two West Virginia towns seeking to recoup the costs of dealing with opioid abuse are suing out-of-state drug distributors.

The separate lawsuits seeking unspecified damages were filed by the Mingo County community of Kermit and the Nicholas County town of Richwood.

Kermit’s population is 392. Its lawsuit names five prescription drug wholesalers. Also named is Cameron Justice, the ex-owner of a now-closed pain clinic. Justice was sentenced in 2010 to 30 months in prison for health-care fraud and allowing unauthorized staff members to issue illegal prescriptions.

Richwood’s lawsuit accuses three distributors of flooding the state with pain pills without regard to the harm it would cause the town of about 2,000 residents.

The lawsuits follow one filed in December by the McDowell County Commission against drug distributors.