Cities and towns throughout the nation have already joined the effort to recoup some of the costs associated with a municipality's efforts to combat the crisis.
"This litigation is intended to address a significant problem in the city. The litigation focuses on the wholesale distributors and manufacturers of opioids and their role in the diversion of millions of prescription opiates into the illicit market which has resulted in opioid addiction, abuse, morbidity, and mortality. There is no easy solution and no precedent for such an action against this sector of the industry," reads a proposed agreement between the city and the law firm.
"Many of the facts of the case are locked behind closed doors. The billion-dollar industry denies liability. The litigation will be very expensive and the litigation expenses will be advanced by the firm with reimbursement contingent upon a successful recovery. The outcome is uncertain, as is all civil litigation, with compensation contingent upon a successful recovery."
The lawsuit claims that companies did not comply with federal regulations in regards to distribution of painkillers and flooded the market, fueling the epidemic.
Municipalities are often burdened with significant costs for such things as first responders responding to overdoses, police enforcement, rehabilitation, and in the school system. The firm believes some of the major manufacturers are responsible and should pay for the damage caused to cities and towns.
"The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek reimbursement of the costs incurred in the past fighting the opioid epidemic and/or recover the funds necessary to abate the health and safety crisis caused by the unlawful conduct of the wholesale distributors and manufacturers of opioids," the agreement reads.
The Pensacola, Fla., firm has already received much support in Massachusetts. The litigation may or may not end up with a payout.
The agreement is on the City Council's agenda for Tuesday.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.
How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.