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Greenfield, Mass., Files Suit Against Drug Companies Over Opioid Crisis

Opioids.
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Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/armydre2008

Greenfield, Massachusetts, has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers in U.S. District Court, arguing they intentionally understated the addictive nature of opioids. 

The suit also contends that distributors allowed the drugs to be far more widely prescribed than state and federal law dictates.

Lawyer Peter Merrigan represents Greenfield.

"We're looking to achieve compensation for the hard economic costs that have been sustained by the city of Greenfield for things such EMS, law enforcement, needle exchanges, Narcan," Merrigan said. "But we're also seeking abatement damages for future recovery from this epidemic." 

Greenfield is believed to be the first community in the state to file such a lawsuit.

It's joining more than 100 cities, counties and states taking drug companies involved in the opioid market to court.

Merrigan said his firm is drafting similar complaints on behalf of Revere, Methuen and Woburn, Massachusetts. This fall, the mayor of Quincy announced his city planned to file suit.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.
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