Babies in withdrawal get attention in lawsuits

Opioid addiction Image via MGN Online

NEW YORK (AP) – A panel of judges is expressing skepticism about whether lawsuits brought on behalf of babies born in opioid withdrawal should have their cases considered separately from hundreds of government entities also suing the drug industry over an opioid crisis.

Lawyers say that more than 150,000 babies were born addicted to opioids from 2012 through 2016 and that the number keeps growing.

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Like local and state governments, they want drugmakers and distributors to be held liable.

But the lawyers for the babies say they have different legal issues and more urgent needs to pay for help for the children.

In a hearing Thursday, judges asked whether getting help for the children would happen any faster if their cases were separated from the ones filed by the state and local governments.