Lewis County Joins Opioid Class-Action LawsuitPosted: Updated:
Lewis County is the latest to join a class-action lawsuit against major manufacturers of opioid drugs.
It's a change in direction for lawmakers who had previously declined to participate.
More than a dozen New York counties, including St. Lawrence County, are working with law firm Simmons, Hanly, Conroy, P.C.
Lewis County Legislature Chair Larry Dolhof says the county wants "to try to recover some of the costs that the county incurs with the expense of the opioid addiction problem."
While lawmakers say there isn't one specific cause of the drug problem, they believe pharmaceutical companies deliberately push for the overuse of these highly addictive drugs.
"I don't see it as the manufacturers in a position of taking full blame," Dolhof said, "but they certainly do share in the responsibility."
Legislator Jerry King wants to make sure if the counties win the lawsuit, the money won't just be put into the general fund, but go directly towards combating the opioid crisis.
"We need to make sure we get the money where it's going to help the people," King said.
The lawsuit won't cost the counties anything unless there's a settlement. The law firm will get 25 percent of any winnings.