Whatcom County joins legal battle against opioid companies

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — The Whatcom County Council has voted to join a widening legal battle against makers and wholesalers of prescription opioids, saying they have contributed to a public health crisis.

The Bellingham Herald reports that county officials on Tuesday voted to join the likes of Skagit, Pierce and King counties in the fight against the opioid epidemic. The County Council retained law firm Keller Rohrback, which is also representing the other Washington state counties.

The law firm will sue the makers and distributors of opioid painkillers, including Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and other entities.

In a separate lawsuit filed in 2017, the state of Washington sued Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, accusing it of “fueling the opioid epidemic in Washington state.”

The drug companies have disputed the allegations