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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: 1560117

Reported Deaths: 20796
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2118112563
Lake1021301523
Allen964791027
Hamilton75541551
St. Joseph66476761
Elkhart51045634
Vanderburgh50511531
Tippecanoe45721338
Johnson39600527
Hendricks37933463
Porter35132476
Madison30330547
Clark27296331
Vigo26401347
Monroe24100249
LaPorte23921313
Howard23237381
Delaware22453370
Hancock19314220
Bartholomew18980216
Kosciusko18400204
Warrick17733216
Wayne16982303
Floyd16686257
Grant15966300
Morgan15091232
Boone13924138
Dearborn12235113
Shelby12225152
Noble12170142
Henry12027202
Dubois11696152
Marshall11625171
Jackson11111104
Cass10578143
Lawrence10529221
Huntington10523140
DeKalb10482132
Gibson10114127
Montgomery9671144
Harrison9471117
Knox9415125
Whitley902571
Steuben8934105
Putnam8542100
Miami8533135
Clinton849397
Jasper8462116
Jefferson8319127
Wabash8027140
Ripley7504117
Scott685787
Adams6829103
Daviess6825130
White638184
Greene6317112
Clay628975
Decatur6261121
Jennings619781
Wells6090121
Fayette6054122
Posey580148
LaGrange549097
Randolph5364129
Washington528071
Owen5211100
Fountain493681
Spencer467456
Sullivan462066
Fulton450993
Orange449784
Starke448887
Rush433941
Jay432564
Perry409155
Carroll394749
Franklin394650
Vermillion370762
Pike334246
Parke331239
Tipton330475
Blackford282255
Pulaski281775
Brown239856
Newton239761
Benton228921
Crawford224932
Switzerland207914
Martin196722
Warren183922
Union178119
Ohio129216
Unassigned0763

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2515949

Reported Deaths: 31987
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2719422100
Cuyahoga2606673087
Hamilton1758091756
Montgomery1177451651
Summit1089011418
Lucas935321193
Butler83907963
Stark771001431
Lorain64214809
Warren53428489
Mahoning51224930
Lake47591611
Clermont46928452
Delaware41107220
Trumbull39746790
Licking38790416
Medina38646427
Fairfield35828349
Greene34313435
Portage32429366
Clark32361453
Richland29653444
Wood29379301
Allen25875403
Miami24243408
Muskingum23564255
Columbiana23046409
Wayne22093365
Tuscarawas19637428
Marion18616235
Erie18608224
Ashtabula18569362
Scioto18159214
Ross17594260
Pickaway16419181
Hancock16115232
Geauga15511229
Lawrence15094186
Belmont14236248
Union1419584
Huron13908184
Jefferson13656261
Sandusky13268200
Athens12877107
Knox12160201
Seneca12055204
Darke11440202
Ashland11248184
Washington11152172
Auglaize10873147
Crawford10432178
Shelby10402160
Brown10094145
Highland9746151
Fulton9726154
Guernsey9683122
Defiance9567137
Logan9470147
Clinton9428132
Mercer9099112
Madison9032111
Preble8524170
Williams8305138
Putnam8069136
Champaign8040113
Ottawa7971123
Jackson7848121
Perry7514102
Coshocton7411136
Morrow729184
Fayette715992
Pike666689
Hardin6564133
Gallia638891
Adams6227127
Van Wert6065121
Henry602596
Hocking5918105
Wyandot503594
Carroll5009101
Holmes4880167
Paulding426465
Meigs400974
Monroe316468
Harrison299162
Noble296952
Morgan292748
Vinton258646
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Feels Like: -17°
Van Wert
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Bitterly cold wind chills are expected across the region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
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