Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Monroe County has joined more than 100 counties in the U.S. in a lawsuit against the companies that distribute, market and create opioid drugs.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo made the announcement Wednesday about the lawsuit. The litigation aims to recoup the various costs each county has incurred as a result of the opioid epidemic. The national law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy is handling the lawsuit.
The lawsuit will likely allege claims of deceptive acts and practices, false advertising, public nuisance, fraud, and unjust enrichment on the part of the involved pharmaceutical companies, among others.
“The opioid epidemic has taken a heartbreaking human toll in every corner of our community and has placed a significant financial burden on local taxpayers,” said Dinolfo. “We intend to hold these companies accountable for their actions in order to recoup costs for taxpayers and reinvest in increased prevention, treatment, and enforcement moving forward.”
Last September, the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office completed a "comprehensive review" of the number of deaths each year linked to opioids. That number went from 11 deaths in 2011 to 206 deaths in 2016.
Simmons Hanly Conroy currently represents over 100 counties nationwide in litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors, including Monroe, Suffolk, Erie, and Seneca Counties.
Taxpayers will not incur any cost as a result of joining the lawsuits.