Athens County To Attack Opioid Companies In The Courtroom

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Athens County is jumping into the legal fight against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The county commissioners have retained a law firm in Columbus to file the federal lawsuit.

The Athens County prosecutor’s office will serve as co-counsel.  The state of Ohio is also suing prescription drug makers, as are several other states counties, and municipalities across the country.

Dr. James Gaskell, The Health Commissioner of the Athens City-County Health Department says there is value in suing the pharmaceutical industry, “The tobacco issue was approached by suing the tobacco companies. And we had a huge tobacco settlement. And that was really helpful in preventing tobacco use and treating tobacco addiction.”

Gaskell adds, “I think suing the manufacturers, the distributors of opioids is a similar plan. If they can get more funding, then we can tackle the opioid problem in a more aggressive manner.”

Commissioner Lenny Eliason says the county chose to be a part of the lawsuit to recoup some of the money lost from the epidemic and “the more parties the better.”