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Cole County looking to join legal fight against opioid distributors

KMIZ

The Cole County Commission said the community is experiencing serious opioid abuse as a result of easily available drug, and it wants to fight against the companies contributing to the crisis.

The commission will be discussing a resolution at its meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, that would hire three law firms to represent the community in potential litigation against contributors to the “opioid addiction crisis.”

The law firms include Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli, P.C.; Eccher Law Group; and Donner Applewhite.

The county is seeking compensation for damages caused by the companies’ distribution of opioids.

In the Legal Services Agreement with the firms, it says the county will pay 25 percent of the total recovery, or awards, if the county wins. If the county doesn’t win, then it wouldn’t have to pay any fees.

The agreement says the litigation would focus on the wholesale distributors and manufacturers 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.”

If the resolution is passed, Cole County would be joining other counties–such as Pulaski, Phelps, Gasconade, Montgomery and Shelby–which have filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.

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ABC 17 News Team

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