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Jax moves closer to suing opioid producers

A new resolution (2017-674) filed this week in the Jacksonville City Council would allow the city’s general counsel to “investigate and pursue” a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

Since the beginning of the year, Councilman Bill Gulliford has sounded the alarm about the human and economic toll of the opioid crisis; in recent months, he has moved toward advocating legal action against Big Pharma.

Overdose deaths in Jacksonville tax finite resources of the fire and rescue department, with multiple overdoses nearly every day.

With Jacksonville dealing with mounting evidence of the human toll of the opioid crisis (roughly two casualties a day, with Jacksonville having the second highest rate in Florida of addicted babies, the 24th highest rate of abuse nationally, and so on), and no end to the carnage in sight, it remains to be seen if the city will be successful in holding multinational pharmaceutical companies responsible for the havoc they’ve wrought.

The resolution calls out “pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors” as potential lawsuit targets, yet does not rule out other targets.

Councilman Gulliford introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by Councilmen John Crescimbeni and Jim Love.

Gulliford noted that the bill would allow the General Counsel to seek an outside firm to carry out action, rather than City Council choosing outside counsel for the process.

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Andrew Gillum Andrew Gillum

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