New Castle County has hired the law firm Motley Rice to explore taking action against the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid crisis.
“The conduct of multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies has caused significant pain and cost so many New Castle County families the lives of their loved ones,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “We cannot rest until those causing this are held to account and required to contribute to real solutions.”
Attorney General Matt Denn last month filed a lawsuit against major drug manufacturers, alleging they misled consumers and doctors about the potential danger and addictive power of opioid-based pain medicine.
New Castle’s response, so far, has focused on improving treatment services and the ability of first responders to help addicts.
New Castle County secured money for its Hero Help Program, an around-the-clock real-time provider of addiction treatment services. In September, Meyer and County Council members committed funding to purchase 600 doses of the overdose-reversal drug Narcan for the county’s 21 volunteer fire companies.
Motley Rice previously secured $246 billion in the tobacco Master Settlement with large cigarette companies. It also handled civil litigation surrounding the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
“We have chosen Motley Rice because of its track record of securing landmark outcomes in some of the most significant health, environmental and consumer fraud litigations in state and federal courts over the past generation,” Meyer said. “We intend to move as quickly as possible over the coming weeks to work with the firm to gather information before making a decision about appropriate next steps.”