Tompkins County To Consider Joining Opioid Lawsuits


According to two Tompkins County officials, the County’s been approached to join a lawsuit against the drug companies Purdue, Teva, Janssen and Endo Pharmaceuticals.

A number of New York counties, including Broome, are suing pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. They want firms to pay millions of dollars for downplaying the addictive qualities of prescription opioids — qualities that have led to the addiction crisis.

Michael Lane is chair of the Tompkins County Legislature. He said any decision on whether to join in would have to go to a committee first.

“We need to better understand what our role would be, including what information we would have to gather for this, and how difficult it would be to put together the facts and figures on it,” he said in an interview.

Lane said a resolution will probably be presented to a legislative committee in the near future. If a committee passes the resolution, then it will be brought to the full Tompkins County legislature for a vote.

Santa Clara and Orange Counties in California won a $1.6 million settlement with Teva in May over the opioid crisis. They are also suing other companies.

The law firms representing county-based lawsuits in New York state against big pharma for the opioid crisis will retain a percentage of any money won from a settlement.