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Insurers Refuse to Pick Up Bill for Billions in Opioid Claims

  • Chubb, Hartford deny coverage over ‘public nuisance’ drugs
  • Legal fight escalates as Delaware court rules against Rite Aid


Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

A multibillion-dollar bill is coming due for the U.S. opioid epidemic and insurers for some of the largest drug makers, distributors and pharmacies are refusing to help pay for it.

A Delaware Supreme Court ruling in January has emboldened insurers eager to avoid massive policy claims from companies proposing to settle liability lawsuits over opioids. Half a dozen complaints have been filed in Delaware in the past two months, seeking court approval to block coverage of everything from cash damages to attorneys fees for companies including CVS Health Corp. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.