Drug companies defending opioid lawsuits have fired back in the federal court handling the sprawling litigation, insisting that cities and counties lacked standing to bring several of the claims, some of which were pre-empted.

The companies—manufacturers and distributors of the prescription painkillers, and retail pharmacies—outlined their defenses in motions to dismiss lawsuits brought by the cities of Cleveland and Chicago, and two Ohio counties. More motions are due this week in additional cases brought by counties in Florida, Michigan and West Virginia.