One of the largest cities in Ohio is suing drug manufacturers for their role in igniting the opioid epidemic currently wreaking havoc in the state.
Paula Hicks-Hudson, mayor of Toledo, filed the lawsuit Monday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, which seeks to hold pharmaceutical companies financially responsible for the public cost of the opioid epidemic. Hicks-Hudson noted during the announcement that opioid overdoses, often requiring injections of the reversal drug Narcan, have cost taxpayers more than $400,000 this year alone, reports The Toledo Blade.
Climaco, Wilcox, Peca & Garofoli Co., LPA, and Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, the two law firms handling the case for officials in Toledo will not be compensated by the city unless they win the case.
“We have had enough of our community members suffering or dying of overdoses from the unfair distribution and marketing practices of these addictive drugs,” Hicks-Hudson said Monday, according to The Toledo Blade. “The time is now to hold drug manufacturers and distributors accountable for their actions.”
Toledo joins a number of cities in Ohio that are suing drug manufacturers over allegations the companies knowingly downplayed risks of their drugs in the pursuit of profits. Officials in Cleveland filed a lawsuit against major drug makers Friday. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine also launched a lawsuit against drug makers in May that seeks damages for the public cost of addiction.
The pharmaceutical industry says they are committed to curbing rates of opioid abuse and helping the federal government ultimately solve the addiction epidemic. The major companies, which are facing a growing number of lawsuits from states and localities across the country, generally deny allegations of complicity in the opioid epidemic.
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