The city of Martinsville has filed a class-action lawsuit against nine different opioid manufacturers. Martinsville mayor Shannon Kohl announced the suit at a town hall meeting last week.
The suit alleges that drug manufacturers used unethical and questionable means to push opioid pain-relievers. The suit says that this pushing of pain relievers led directly to the city’s current opioid crisis.
At the meeting, Kohl stated “the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers and wholesale drug distributors have refused and failed to fulfill their specific and legal obligations to monitor, identify, report and halt suspicious shipments of opioids.”
Morgan County had the second highest number of overdoses in the state for 2017, according to the Indiana Department of Health. The county had approximately 79 nonfatal overdoses per 100,000 residents, over twice the state average.
Martinsville’s lawsuit is the most recent case in a string of grievances filed by local communities impacted by the opioid epidemic. The city of Bloomington and Monroe County joined an Indianapolis lawsuit against drug manufacturers last December.
Morgan county, of which Martinsville is the seat of government, also filed a similar lawsuit last year. The Morgan county lawsuit is separate and not affiliated with the Martinsville case.
The city hired six different law offices for the case. Each of the firms will only be entitled to a payout if the city wins the suit, according to Mayor Kohl.