City of Worcester Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Drug Manufacturers

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team

City of Worcester files lawsuit against opioid drug manufacturers
The City of Worcester filed a lawsuit against opioid drug manufacturers and distributors for the “substantial damages the city has suffered.”

“We’ve tirelessly undertaken outreach initiatives designed to combat the opioid crisis created by the defendants’ unlawful conduct. The City is seeking damages, not just to be reimbursed for its expenses, but also to halt the unlawful practices and find a way to end the opioid-heroin connection that has cost so many lives and created so much hardship,” said City Manager Edward Augustus.

The law firm of Scott + Scott has been retained by the City to represent it in this litigation on a contingency basis.

The City will not pay any of the costs of the lawsuit.

The Lawsuit

The complaint alleges that prescription opioids are a “gateway drug” to heroin, based on data that approximately 80 percent of heroin users got their start with prescription opioids.

According to the lawsuit, the drug companies placed profits above the health and well-being of their customers and communities in using unethical and unlawful methods to market and distribute opioids. Their improper practices, in turn, created a population addicted to opioids, who then turned to heroin available on the black market.

Resulting addiction problems have had many adverse impacts on communities across the country, including Worcester.

The City will demonstrate numerous categories of expenses incurred, including increases in first responder costs, Narcan acquisition and training, employee health insurance claims and costs and the creation of addiction programs.

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