Supermarket chain Publix Super Markets Inc. is suing dozens of insurance companies in the federal district in Tampa over losses it has incurred as a result of opioid litigation.
Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, one of the largest U.S. supermarket chains, which operates more than 1,300 stores in Florida and several other southern states, said dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the company and other unaffiliated pharmacies and drug companies that is seeking damages for bodily injury, death and mental anguish resulting from the alleged improper sale of opioids, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa in Publix Super Markets Inc. v. Acre Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al.
The lawsuit said the chain has “paid a significant premium”;‘ for broad general liability, pharmacist liability, umbrella liability and excess liability coverage for the “allegations and liabilities at issue” in the opioid lawsuits.
It says it has incurred, and continues to incur, significant losses, including defense costs, claims costs and fees, to defend against the lawsuits.
So far, however, it said the insurers’ response has been to deny they owe any coverage. Some have done so because they say the claims do not allege liability for bodily injury, while others have said that because the lawsuits include allegations of intentional conduct by Publix, they do not allege a covered event.
The company accuses the insurers of breach of contract, anticipatory breach of contract and seeks declaratory judgments on their duty to defend and indemnify it.
Earlier this month, CVS Health Corp., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Walmart Inc. agreed to pay about $13.8 billion to settle thousands of state, local and tribal lawsuits accusing the pharmacy chains of mishandling opioid painkillers.