Keene is the latest in a string of New Hampshire cities to sue pharmaceutical giants over their alleged role fueling the opioid crisis. Nashua and Manchester have filed similar lawsuits, as have hundreds of communities across the country.
In a complaint filed this week, lawyers for Keene claim a long list of pharmaceutical companies – including Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, and others – ignored the drugs’ known risks and pushed them aggressively.
“This case is about one thing: corporate greed,” the complaint states. “Defendants put their desire for profits above the health and well-being of the City of Keene, its residents, and consumers.”
The city is seeking damages for the costs associated with fighting the epidemic locally. That includes expenses for policing, drug and addiction counseling programs, and EMS services.
"I honestly believe that every community in the state of New Hampshire should join the lawsuit," said Keene City Manager Elizabeth Dragon. "I think it makes sense for everyone to join together and try to make a difference.”
Other similar cases nationwide have been consolidated for review by a court in Ohio.