Allen County plans legal action against opioid companies

Allen County Department of Health says that in Allen County in 2017 alone, there have been over 450 drug overdoses, and over 30 overdose deaths.

Posted: Dec 16, 2017 6:35 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2017 6:36 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)  Allen County Department of Health says that in Allen County in 2017 alone, there have been over 450 drug overdoses, and over 30 overdose deaths.

The Allen County government now plans to sue pharmaceutical companies that help influence the opioid epidemic.

Friday, the Allen County commissioners approved an agreement with Crueger Dickinson, a Wisconsin law firm to sue pharmaceutical companies.

"There's been some alleged behaviors, from the pharmaceutical and distributing companies that may have facilitated the opioid crisis and at the local level is where the buck stops because there where the services are really provided," said Dr. Deborah McMahon, Allen County Health Commissioner.

Those behaviors? "They were over providing opioids to doctors who were they knew were prescribing too much."

Plus, the alleged lack of informing people about the dangerous effects of the drugs. McMahon says she's not sure how much it costs the county to deal with opoid abuse, but it's a lot.

"We have increased housing people in jail for drugs and criminal acts to get money to buy drugs. We have more kids in DCS that need foster care and care because their parents are still on drugs. We have the cost of medication assisted treatment and the therpay and counseling and behavior therapy for that."

Renee Russell, a recovering opioid addict, says she's glad the government wants to do something about the epidemic.

"I think it's good. I think they played a huge role in creating the ginormous opioid epidemic in Fort Wayne. I hope they put the money back to the resources into the community to help solve the problem."

The resources? "Treatment centers, more like the Park Center that just opened, a place where people can withdraw besides jail, not having to be court ordered there, and vivitrol."

Zach Warner says that it's great the government is taking a stand but doesn't think the opioid makers are completely responsible.

"The fact that these medications are openly known for being addictive, that's common knowledge, it sort of falls on the people who abuse those medications and the doctors that over prescribe those medications is what pushed the epidemic further."

The lawsuit hasn't been filed yet. Other cities, counties and states have filed similar lawsuits.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
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Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 976230

Reported Deaths: 17501
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1127971251
Cuyahoga966701881
Hamilton737981067
Montgomery47453923
Summit40562831
Butler35750531
Lucas35685720
Stark29548826
Warren22539275
Lorain22149424
Mahoning19556551
Lake18509332
Clermont18484205
Delaware16576121
Licking15063194
Fairfield14622188
Trumbull14397424
Greene13636221
Medina13484237
Clark12352256
Wood11633170
Portage11104172
Allen10815216
Richland10360188
Miami10055194
Muskingum8224117
Columbiana8165210
Pickaway8085111
Tuscarawas8065232
Marion8015127
Wayne7915199
Erie6948146
Ross6170132
Geauga6105142
Hancock6021121
Ashtabula5998154
Scioto599188
Lawrence527186
Union515641
Darke5046116
Belmont4990137
Huron4848108
Jefferson4831137
Sandusky4791112
Washington473696
Seneca4720111
Athens465849
Mercer459181
Auglaize456682
Shelby442579
Knox4053105
Putnam400393
Madison394755
Fulton382561
Ashland381983
Brown374352
Defiance373588
Crawford359598
Logan356973
Preble353887
Clinton342055
Highland328451
Ottawa325171
Williams303268
Jackson291246
Champaign290149
Guernsey288745
Perry270748
Fayette269843
Morrow261137
Henry247361
Hardin246859
Holmes244097
Coshocton240056
Van Wert230257
Gallia223538
Adams218139
Pike216728
Wyandot212050
Hocking194954
Carroll181743
Paulding160834
Meigs136031
Noble129233
Monroe117137
Morgan101620
Harrison100731
Vinton76613
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