A couple of Nebraska political entities are taking a novel approach to the battle against opioid addiction.
Knox County and the Ponca Tribe have filed federal lawsuits against 25 drug companies which make opioid painkillers and the pharmacies that distribute them.
They are represented by Omaha Attorney Dave Domina, who says he will be surprised if more cities and counties don’t file similar lawsuits.
“Across the country there has been the beginning of a trend of cities and counties asserting their claims for their extra budget costs that their taxpayers are being forced to pay, because of the opioid epidemic,” Domina tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Domina claims the drug makers misled medical professionals and the public about the risks of addiction to opioids and failed to follow federal law.
“There’s a federal law that requires that those companies track those opioids to be sure they aren’t diverted to improper recipients or illegal uses or to the gray market or to over-prescribing doctors; any of those things,” according to Domina. “The companies have utterly failed to do that.”
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.