A Washington Post article (2017-12-12) announced that Montgomery County Executive Ike has retained the law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP to pursue legal action against manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers. Maryland, like the rest the nation, is facing an opioid crisis. From the article:
Leggett said one goal of the lawsuit is to challenge opioid manufacturers and distributors who may understate how addicting their drugs can be.
There were 84 opioid-related deaths in the county in 2016, said Raymond Crowel, chief of behavioral health and crisis services for Montgomery’s Department of Health and Human Services. Numbers for 2017 are not yet available.
A Montgomery County press release (2017-12-12) from Leggett provided further information:
“Every day brings fresh evidence of the very real damage that the Opioid crisis in wreaking on individuals and communities throughout our great nation. I wish I could stand here and tell you that Montgomery County is immune to this epidemic. Unfortunately I cannot do that. Ask our first-responders in our Fire & Rescue Service and in our Police. Ask our front-line personnel in Health & Human Services. Death. Addiction. Broken families. Broken lives. We are living this reality today.
“As we continue to respond as a County to the critical needs created by this epidemic, I wanted to do more. I wanted to reach out and ask that those manufacturers and distributors of opioids who marketed the drugs and possibly downplayed their addictive nature be held responsible somehow for the consequences of those actions.
“That is why I asked for – and the Council approved, today – the hiring of outside counsel – the firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP — to investigate the culpability of opioid producers and distributors and move to take legal action for reimbursement to the County for taxpayer resources that have been, are, and will be used to respond to the crisis.”