60+ Wisconsin counties expected to participate in opioid epidemic lawsuit

The Wisconsin Counties Association expects 60 to 70 of the state's 72 counties to join a proposed lawsuit alleging drug companies engaged in fraudulent practices when promoting opioids in the state, according to a report from Wisconsin Public Radio.

The lawsuit would seek to recoup funds spent by local governments on law enforcement and health services to address opioid abuse. Eau Claire, Sauk and Marathon county boards voted Tuesday night to participate in the lawsuit.

While many states, including Wisconsin, have filed opioid epidemic lawsuits, Eau Claire County Board Chairman Gregg Moore told WPR the crisis' real finical burden rests at the local level.

"It's our medical examiners, it's our health department, it's our human services department, it's our sheriff's department and so on, that are dealing with this issue," Mr. Moore said, according to WPR. "So, it's our level of government that is very significantly impacted."

Other counties that have signed on to the possible lawsuit include Wood, Adams and Price, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.

More than 1,000 Wisconsinites died from an opioid-related overdose in 2016, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services data cited by WPR

More articles on opioids: 
3 factors for a successful addiction treatment program in primary care 
More Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016 than in the Vietnam War 
Pennsylvania county opioid epidemic lawsuit names 23 defendants

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