City Of Poughkeepsie » Press Release » City of Poughkeepsie Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

City of Poughkeepsie Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

The City of Poughkeepsie has filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, accusing the defendants of waging a deceptive marketing campaign designed to intentionally mislead doctors and the public about the dangers of highly addictive drugs.

The city is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the money it spends each year to combat the public nuisance created by these practices. The lawsuit was filed in Dutchess County Supreme Court.

The city contends the defendants must be held accountable for the millions of dollars of costs related to opioid addiction and abuse, including health care, criminal justice and victimization, and lost productivity. Across the country, authorities have struggled to curb the flow of heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers that have taken their toll on people. The Centers for Disease Control says that about 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose.

“The opioid crisis must be dealt with squarely,” said Mayor Rob Rolison. “The City of Poughkeepsie refuses to sit idly by while people are suffering, and we believe these specific pharmaceutical companies and their distributors are a big part of the problem.”

The city asserts that, through their marketing ploys, the defendants have created a false perception in the minds of physicians, patients and others involved in the health care system that it is safe to use opioids to treat chronic pain. The lawsuit says this unscrupulous effort began in the late 1990s but became more aggressive around 2006 and is ongoing.

The City of Poughkeepsie has retained the New York City law firm Napoli Shkolnik PLLC as special counsel. Napoli Shkolnik has filed similar lawsuits on behalf of other municipalities. 

 “We believe this is a prudent course of action considering what is at stake,” Rolison said. “Lives are being ruined, and public resources are being stretched to address this crisis. Opioid manufacturers and distributors must be held accountable for their actions.”

Mayor Rolison pointed out individuals are empowered to help in other ways. For instance, a statewide campaign encourages residents to carry naloxone – a medication that reverses opioid overdoses – to help curb the opioid epidemic. And people are encouraged to dispose of unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs at various drop-off sites in the area. Such actions ensure those drugs won’t be used in inappropriate ways and can make a significant difference over time.

To read more about the case, go to https://bit.ly/2VY0bNg

For information about naloxone kits, call 1-877-846-7369 or visit www.CombatAddiction.ny.gov. The state also has a program that covers up to $40 in co-pay for naloxone.

For prescription drug drop-off locations, visit: http://dutchessny.gov/Departments/Stop-DWI/Docs/STOP-DWI-Prescription-Drug-Take-Back.pdf