Pueblo County is suing national drug companies over opioid crisis

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 11:04:11-04

Pueblo County is the latest community to join a national lawsuit against opioid pharmaceutical companies.

As News 5 has reported, those drug makers are being blamed for the opioid crisis sweeping the nation.

Pueblo County Commissioners moved forward with this on Monday by officially hiring legal counsel to take their

They say, not only is this appropriate but this is a necessity for the well being of Pueblo County.

“Because they harmed our community so bad, we’re incurring expenses in our jail, we’re incurring expenses in our emergency rooms, frankly, we had the coroner in earlier today and we’re experiencing a growth in the number of people being killed by this,” Pueblo County Commissioner Terry Hart said.

They are joining dozens of other communities across the nation, filing claims against the pharmaceutical industry and the medical doctors that were driving the decisions to put highly addictive opioid-based products into patients’ hands back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s for pain management.

“What did these folks know? And did they have predatory type of sales practices that basically hooked innocent individuals into this horrible, horrible opioid crisis? And we believe yes, that’s exactly what they did,” Hart said.

The law firm they hired, based out of Wisconsin, has already been working with other communities on this litigation. They say, Pueblo will be one of the leading communities in the lawsuit.

“They indicated that Pueblo will be one of the lead communities, they’ve got a number of clients already, but we’ll be one of the lead communities in making sure that all of our facts are in front of the federal judge and if we can get an order out of this case, putting money back into the community that Pueblo citizens will benefit from that,” Hart said.

Pueblo County is following suit right behind Huerfano County, they joined in the national lawsuit at the end of January.

Commissioner Hart says he expects this to go to trial by sometime next year and he believes Pueblo County will not be the last community in Colorado to help hold these pharmaceutical companies accountable.