Navajo Nation, the “largest Indian tribe in the United States,” filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the “opioid supply chain”—including manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. The suit claims that 12 companies “created a market for these highly addictive drugs, and also failed to prevent the flow of illicit opioids[.]” The suit says that Navajo have died, and the tribe has suffered financial losses due to the opioid epidemic. The companies being sued include Purdue Pharma, McKesson, Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. “For generations, Native Americans have disproportionately suffered during health crises, and the opioid crisis is no different,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a press release. “We aren’t going to sit back and let our community be torn apart while our children are suffering.” The suit’s “special counsel” is Richard Fields of Fields PLLC—the same lawyer who is co-counseling the class-action lawsuit against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. The Cherokee Nation filed a similar lawsuit in April 2017.
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