Washington joins other states in suing major opioid shippers

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington is the latest state to sue major distributors of opioids, saying the companies made billions of dollars while ignoring signs of a growing crisis fueled by addiction to the drugs.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the lawsuit Tuesday against McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corp. He says they shipped huge amounts of oxycodone, fentanyl and other painkillers into Washington and failed to comply with requirements that they identify suspicious orders that could be diverted to the illegal drug market.

About 10 states and a large number of cities have sued at least one of the distributors. Washington is separately suing opioid manufacturers.

The companies have said they are taking steps to help address the crisis and noted that they fulfill prescription orders placed by properly licensed health care providers.