A week after multiple Louisiana Sheriff’s Offices filed suit against several opioid manufacturers, the state Department of Health has filed its own lawsuit claiming these drug companies have helped fuel the Bayou State’s severe opioid epidemic.

Legal Analyst Tim Meche says this is a very trendy lawsuit now.

“The defendant pharmaceutical companies have very deep pockets and there is nothing better to sue. Obviously they don’t want bad publicity so they may be more inclined to settle.”

Meche says it could be difficult for the suits to stick because the opioids are regulated and approved by the FDA and prescribed by doctors. He says this litigation is similar to lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

“I expect the pharmaceutical companies to mount a similar defense. If they got into court, I don’t think the lawyers would win. They’re looking for a quick settlement and they might get one.”

LDH is seeking damages for the amounts it has already paid for excessive opioid prescriptions and treatment costs as a result of those prescriptions. Meche says it seems like this is more about trial lawyers trying to make money rather than fight the epidemic.

“I have a feeling it’s not government agencies that are pushing these lawsuits, it’s the trial lawyer firms who went to the government agencies and asked for permission to file suit.”