Cities and towns throughout the state joining opioid lawsuit - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Cities and towns throughout the state joining opioid lawsuit

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(photo MGN-Online) (photo MGN-Online)

The next battle in the war against opioid abuse is set to take place in the courtroom.

About sixty cities and towns from The Bay State are already taking on pharmaceutical giants that distribute opioids.

Cities and towns across the country are taking the matter to court.

One attorney representing several towns estimates that as many as two hundred communities will join the lawsuit when all is said and done.

Springfield and Greenfield have been hit hard with the opioid epidemic and they are not alone.

Attorney Richard Sandman is representing several communities taking on big pharma.

“There’s a shared responsibility that I think really needs to come across," Sandman said.

About sixty communities have already joined the lawsuit and Sandman thinks about 140 more will soon take part as well.

“Opioids are supposed to treat an acute pain issue,” Sandman said. “They are not supposed to be used for chronic pain over time, and manufacturers dismissed addiction along the way.”

The idea is to raise awareness of opioid addiction and defray the rising costs of treatment.

Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh, said, “They have made billions and billions and billions of dollars pushing opioids out into the public, in a legal way, but they are as dangerous as drug dealers.”

Auburn is one of the most recent to join and likely not the last.

“Let's not pretend every single one of us hasn't been touched by this personally, whether it’s a mother or father, daughter or son, sister or brother, a neighbor, a close friend,” Walsh said.

Just this week U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said the Justice Department will consider legal action as well.

It’s not entirely clear who else may join the lawsuit in the coming months.

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