Greeley to join nationwide settlement class against opioid industry

GREELEY  — The city of Greeley is attempting to join a class of states and local governments looking to finish a $10-12 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma LP over its role the national opioid crisis.

Greeley lists more than 40 defendants in its 186-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado Wednesday, ranging from opioid producers Purdue Pharma LP’s Sackler family and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) to distributors such as Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Walgreens (Nasdaq: WBA).

Greeley City Attorney Doug Markek told BizWest the city expects the suit to be rolled into a larger federal suit based in Ohio, where Purdue and the various governments are in the process of closing the settlement, which would require it to file for bankruptcy. Several other municipalities filed a joint lawsuit in January that was later moved to Ohio.

“We’ll be in the same shoes as the other Colorado jurisdictions,” he said.

The city argues in its complaint that the opioid epidemic has started “a severe public health crisis” and created deep economic pain by driving up public health, criminal justice and safety costs. Those losses were driven in part by the defendants using misleading marketing to patients and doctors and supplying an “unreasonable and unconscionable amount of pills in Greeley,” the city claims.

“The opioid abuse prevalent throughout the city has affected plaintiff in numerous ways, not only through the need for increased emergency medical services, but also through increased drug-related offenses affecting law enforcement and the municipal court, and through additional resources spent on community and social programs, including for the next generation of Greeley residents, who are growing up in the shadow of the opioid epidemic,” the city said in its filing.

Greeley claims that the defendants engaged in public nuisance, gross negligence, unjust enrichment and fraud, and violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and the federal anti-racketeering laws. It is also working with Seattle law firm Keller Rohrback LLP in the case.

Colorado is not a party to the Purdue case, as Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said last month that the state is pursuing its own settlement with the company.

GREELEY  — The city of Greeley is attempting to join a class of states and local governments looking to finish a $10-12 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma LP over its role the national opioid crisis.

Greeley lists more than 40 defendants in its 186-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado Wednesday, ranging from opioid producers Purdue Pharma LP’s Sackler family and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) to distributors such as Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Walgreens (Nasdaq: WBA).

Greeley City Attorney Doug Markek told BizWest the city expects the suit to be rolled into a larger federal suit based in Ohio, where Purdue and the various governments are in the process of closing the settlement, which would require it to file for bankruptcy. Several other municipalities filed a joint lawsuit in January that was later moved to Ohio.

“We’ll be in the same shoes as the other Colorado jurisdictions,” he said.

The city argues in its complaint that the opioid epidemic has started “a severe public health crisis” and created deep economic pain by driving up public health, criminal justice and safety costs. Those losses were driven in part by the defendants using misleading marketing to patients and doctors and supplying an “unreasonable and unconscionable amount of pills in Greeley,” the city claims.

“The opioid abuse prevalent throughout the city has affected plaintiff in numerous ways, not only through the need for increased emergency medical services, but also through increased drug-related offenses affecting law enforcement and the municipal court, and through additional…