A bottle of white prescription pills is spilled on a table. A collection of other prescription bottles are in the background. According to the filings, Master’s conduct “greatly contributed to the vast increase in opioid overuse and addiction” and caused “a public-health and law-enforcement crisis.” (Credit: Kimberly Boyles/Adobe Stock)

In a 5-2 decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that lawsuits brought by governmental bodies against a prescription opioid distributor seeking damages merely related to opioid-related addiction and overdoses do not invoke an insurers’ duty to defend. The case is Acuity v. Masters Pharm., 2022-Ohio-3092.

Hamilton County Ohio based Masters Pharmaceutical was a wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical products that shipped prescription opioids to pharmacies across the nation, until it ceased operations in 2018. A group of more than 20 cities and counties in West Virginia, Michigan and Nevada sued Masters and several other pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and retailers making similar claims that the companies were responsible for the opioid epidemic that was ravaging their communities. The governments alleged that Masters had failed to monitor and report suspicious opioid orders and had failed to maintain effective control against the diversion of opioid painkillers into the illegal drug market.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.

Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper


Complex Claims & Litigation Forum 2024Event

The conference experience aimed to help insurers and litigators Prevent, Prepare, and Prevail in complex claims cases and risks.

Get More Information


Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join PropertyCasualty360.com now!

  • Unlimited access to PropertyCasualty360.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including BenefitsPRO.com, ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.