WESTLAND, MI – On Monday, April 16th, 2018, the Westland City Council voted to join in the fight against the opioid epidemic by joining a lawsuit against against large pharmaceutical companies and distributors. The city will be represented by the Sam Bernstein Law Firm. Similar lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties as well as the City of Detroit among other cities throughout the nation. It seeks unspecified damages and a change to the marketing and prescribing practices of opioids.
From 1999 to 2016, the total number of overdose deaths involving any type of opioid increased more than 17 times in Michigan as a result of increased prescription drug and heroin use. In addition to the skyrocketing number of overdoses, the opioid epidemic has led to increased healthcare costs, increased costs for drug treatment programs, an increase in criminal acts aimed at obtaining opioids and increased justice and law enforcement costs. Cities, Counties and States are moving forward with litigation, not unlike the cigarette litigation of a decade ago to recoup public resources.
“Westland is joining in this mass action litigation in order to take a stand against Big Pharma and for to recover damages that the epidemic has caused our local public safety departments and district court,” commented Mayor Wild. “The danger, addiction and debilitating effects have been long-known by drug companies but were disregarded and these drugs were falsely marketed as safe in order to ensure financial gain.”
There are over 92 actions currently filed by governmental entities in regards to this crisis.