The Associated Press reports that " Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman filed a lawsuit Monday against one of the nation’s largest grocery chains, claiming its pharmacies helped fuel the state's deadly opioid addiction crisis.
"The lawsuit against the Kroger Co. says its more than 100 Kentucky pharmacies were responsible for over 11% of all opioid pills dispensed in the state between 2006 and 2019. It amounted to hundreds of millions of doses inundating Kentucky communities without reasonable safeguards, the suit said.
"'For more than a decade, Kroger flooded Kentucky with an almost unthinkable number of opioid pills that directly led to addiction, pain and death,' Coleman said in a statement."
According to the story, "The suit alleges Kroger bought more than four billion morphine milligram equivalents of opioids for Kentucky between 2006 and 2019, roughly equivalent to 444 million opioid doses. The company distributed almost 194 million hydrocodone pills to its Kentucky pharmacies between 2006 and 2019, the suit said … Among other things, the suit is seeking civil penalties of $2,000 against the grocery chain for each alleged willful violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act."
The AP says that Kroger has not yet commented on the suit.
- KC's View:
I'm sure that at least part of the defense will be that opioids were being prescribed by doctors that should have known better, and manufacturers by companies that did know better - and that Kroger is not culpable under these circumstances.
One thing I am sure of is this: the folks who made this poison and sent it out into the world with thoughts only about their own bottom lines almost certainly will occupy their own especially hot circle of hell.
And I'd guess that Kroger will end up settling this suit, just like other retailers have. They'll write a big check and hope to move on. Though, to be fair, moving on isn't an option that the victims of this epidemic and their families do not have.