Walmart sues U.S. government for trying to “shrug off” drug abuse crisis

Wal-Mart, the largest U.S. department store chain, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, accusing it of trying to shift some of the blame for the U.S. opioid crisis onto the company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, RIA Novosti 23.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Drug (Drug) Enforcement Administration (DEA) are named as defendants. Lawyers for Wal-Mart have argued that due to data errors, poor regulation and enforcement by these agencies, the number of people in the United States who regularly take various drugs and become addicted to them has increased. In the complaint filed in a Texas court, Wal-Mart claims that the U.S. government intends to make Wal-Mart pay large fines for customers who purchased these drugs at Wal-Mart stores.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart’s lawsuit against the U.S. government is an attempt at a “pre-emptive strike”, as the company’s management is waiting to be sued by the federal government. Previously, similar lawsuits have been filed against the company by authorities in several U.S. regions.

In the past two years, there have been thousands of lawsuits around the United States against large U.S. companies that manufacture or sell medical products. Plaintiffs include individuals or representatives of city, county, and state governments, as well as various public organizations. These companies are accused of being in some way responsible for the opioid crisis in the United States. The crisis is believed to have killed at least 400,000 people over the past 20 years.

In these cases, companies that are defendants are accused of failing to take adequate steps to inform buyers of the addictive nature of the opioids they manufacture or sell and what health risks they may pose. The plaintiffs say this is one of the reasons for the increase in fatal overdoses in the United States.