Toledo sues opioid manufacturers, distributors


By Ignazio Messina - The (Toledo) Blade



TOLEDO — The city of Toledo sued 24 opioid manufacturers and distributors Monday, Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson announced.

“It is designed to hold them responsible,” the mayor said.

“The goal is to recover our costs and to change the ways in which they prescribe and advertise these drugs,” she said.

Mayor Hicks-Hudson said city taxpayers have spent more than $400,000 for Toledo firefighters to respond to opioid-related emergency calls this year.

The nearly 300 page lawsuit was filled in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Toledo City Council voted on Oct. 17 to hire two law firms, Climaco, Wilcox, Peca & Garofoli Co., LPA, and Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, to sue for opioid-related costs. The law firms represent several other cities, including Dayton and Parma, Ohio, in similar suits “arising out of the alleged fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of prescription drugs including hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, methadone, and related to the opioid epidemic effecting this community,” council’s ordinance said.

The city has a retainer agreement mandating the two law firms are only paid if they are successful in court, City Law Director Adam Loukx said.

The lawsuit is an attempt to “try to hold an industry that has frankly been irresponsible, responsible,” Mr. Loukx said.

The opioid crisis in Toledo has been an issue in the 2017 mayoral contest.

On Aug. 28, 2017, Toledo mayoral candidate Wade Kapszukiewicz, the Lucas County treasurer, said the city should join a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and suppliers.

“I’m glad the mayor finally supports my plan to fight the opioid epidemic, but for the sake of the city, I wish she would have agreed with me sooner,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said.

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By Ignazio Messina

The (Toledo) Blade