Kroger Faces Lawsuit Over Role in Opioid Crisis

( – Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman initiated legal action on February 12 against Kroger Co., claiming that each of its pharmacies fueled the state’s opioid addiction crisis. The lawsuit against one of the most famous grocery chains in the country says that more than 100 pharmacies were directly responsible for over 11 percent of every single opioid pill dispensed in Kentucky between the years 2006 and 2019. The suit added it amounted to hundreds of millions of doses that “inundated” numerous communities in the state without any reasonable safeguard.

In a statement, Coleman claimed that Kroger is guilty of flooding Kentucky with opioid pills that eventually lead to death, pain, and addiction. The state attorney general also said that the company did it for “more than a decade,” claiming that it should be held responsible.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Shepherdsville’s Bullitt County Circuit Court, seeks civil penalties of $2,000 against Kroger for every alleged willful violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act. According to some reports, officials of the grocery chain have refused to respond to numerous emails seeking comments on the matter.

Over the last few years, Kentucky has been one of the most affected areas in the United States by the overdose crisis, with over 2,000 fatalities in 2022. Numerous Kentucky attorneys general from both political parties have pursued legal actions against companies that distribute or make opioid-based medication.

Coleman’s lawsuit claims that Kroger failed to apply monitoring programs to stop suspicious opioid orders in the so-called Bluegrass State. In his suit, Coleman argued that Kroger made these “highly addictive” and “dangerous” substances “too accessible” for the public.

The attorney general’s office said in a statement that, as a dispenser and distributor, the company had full access to real-time data that revealed unusual prescribing patterns. Coleman’s office also stated that, despite these “red flags,” the grocery chain didn’t report any single suspicious prescription in the state between the years 2007 and 2014.

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