CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – On Thursday night, Clarksburg City Council discussed litigation that is in the works against distributors and manufacturers of opioids.
Many cities and municipalities throughout West Virginia have been filing lawsuits against these distributors and manufacturers of opioid drugs, which are believed to account for 85 percent of addictive pain pills distributed within the state.
“This litigation has been going on for two years, and there was a significant event yesterday. We believe we have a $10 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, and now 2,000 cities, and counties and states that have filed will get a portion of that money,” said Charleston attorney Charles “Rusty” Webb.
During a Clarksburg City Council Conference Session Thursday evening, Webb spoke with the council about the litigation on manufacturers pushing highly-addictive opioids into West Virginia.
“I am trying to convince Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Fairmont, Morgantown and anybody who will listen to me, any municipality with a police department, that if they want to try and get some of this opioid money to reimburse them for the their expenses related to opioids, now is the time to file,” said Webb.
Many of the cities that are currently in litigation claim the drug problems that are affecting the region are fueled by distributors flooding the state with highly-addictive prescription pills.
“When somebody causes a problem that hurts other people, then there is a way to get a remedy from the courts. And, I am certainly open to the possibility to the city pursuing some remedies because we’ve had to put out a lot of money, and there has been a lot of bad stuff that has happened in Clarksburg that wouldn’t have happened had the opioid crisis not occurred,” said Clarksburg Mayor Ryan Kennedy.
Statistics show that in the past six years, more than 1,000 West Virginians have overdosed on hydrocodone and oxycodone pills alone. Webb currently represents more than 28 cities and municipalities in similar lawsuits against the drug manufacturers.