ST. MARYS, W.Va. — Pleasants and Ritchie counties, as well as the cities of St. Marys and Harrisville, are suing manufacturers, distributors and individuals over the opioid crisis.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers reported in November 2017 the economic cost of the opioid epidemic across the country was $504 billion in 2015 alone.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported West Virginia has the highest death rate due to drug overdoses in the United States with 52 deaths per 100,000 people.

“The economic and personal toll to the state of West Virginia is devastating — in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars — which doesn’t include the lives destroyed, and families forever altered because of this pandemic,” a Tuesday press release stated.

Those name in the lawsuit, which was filed in Pleasants County, include Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, LP, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Endo Health Solutions and Cardinal Health.

The counties and cities are represented by the Mid-Ohio Valley Opioid Litigation Alliance, a partnership that has represented by 13 regional counties and municipalities regarding related litigation.