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Monroe Co., Bloomington Join Others Suing Opioid Manufacturers

Indiana Department Opioids

Monroe County and the City of Bloomington are joining a growing list of communities who are suing opioid manufacturers and distributors for their roles in the nationwide epidemic.

Representatives from the city and county met Wednesday to sign a contract to begin the process. They’ll be represented by the Indianapolis- based law firm Cohen and Malad.

The governing bodies are suing 23 companies including Purdue Pharma. The lawsuit claims deceptive advertising and false information regarding the effects of opioids. According to the Center for Disease Control, Indiana had an average of 109 prescriptions for every 100 residents.

Mayor John Hamilton says the lawsuit may take time, but he hopes it will bring an end to the epidemic.

“There are suits like this across the state [and] across the country. And I hope they’ll proceed quickly because every day we have families, children, public sector, private sector suffering from the impact of this," Hamilton says.

Monroe County Commissioner Patrick Stoffers called out the state for not joining the lawsuit.

“You know the one party that’s not here right now it seems to be the state of Indiana. I’m not sure what they’re waiting on. Perhaps they should join New Hampshire, South Caroline, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Delaware – join with us in fighting this," Stoffers says.

County Commissioner Amanda Barge says the county and city are putting the responsibilities on the shoulders of those who produce deceptive advertising.

“The lack of care for human life is disgusting. And we pledge that any funds recouped from this lawsuit will go back directly to fight this epidemic," Barge says.

Barge says, in the meantime, the Health Department will prepare for a new treatment program that will launch in 2018.

The governing bodies say if they win, they plan to use the funds from the suit to directly fight the epidemic locally.

Read the full lawsuit below:

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