Monroe County has joined nationwide lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies that make, market and distribute opioid prescription drugs.
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying that through the action, the county will seek to recoup on behalf of local taxpayers the various costs it has incurred as a result of the opioid epidemic.
"Certainly you can't put a price tag on the cost that families have endured in the loss of a loved one, that is priceless. But when we look at the financial impact on the county of Monroe, what we're looking at is what is the cost of prevention? What is the cost of education? What is the cost of incarceration? What is the cost of probation?"
The county has retained the council of Simmons Hanly Conroy which already represents counties nationwide in litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors including Suffolk, Erie, Broome, Orange, Dutchess, Seneca, Sullivan, and Schenectady.
Dinolfo says by joining, it sends a message that this is a serious issue impacting more than just Monroe County.
"These manufacturers and these marketers went out and were deceptive. And it has led to a crisis. A crisis in our area, a crisis in our nation and we can't stand for it."
Claims will include deceptive acts and practices, false advertising, public nuisance, fraud, and unjust enrichment on the part of the involved pharmaceutical companies.
The suit will have no net cost on the county.