BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Fighting a losing battle on the streets of Baltimore, city attorneys are now going to try and tackle the opioid crisis in court.
Baltimore City attorneys are setting the stage for a court battle against Big Pharma.
It was announced Wednesday that Baltimore will sue drug makers for their roles in the ongoing opioid crisis
Illegal drugs top the list of killers in Baltimore, and city attorneys want Big Pharma to pay the costs of fighting the opioid crisis.
In the first nine months of 2017 alone, opioids killed more than 1,500 people in Maryland, and left a trail of nearly 600 bodies on the streets of Baltimore.
“There are more people dying from overdose here in Baltimore City, than there are dying of homicide,” said Baltimore Commissioner Of Health Dr. Leana Wen.
Now, city attorneys want the drug makers who sell these quiet killers to answer in court.
“They were reckless. They were intentional. It was marketing, it was greed, and we’re going to try and hold them accountable for the harm they’ve caused to Baltimore City,” said city solicitor Andre Davis.
Davis announced Wednesday that he will file a lawsuit saying manufacturers and distributors of dangerous drugs have devastated Baltimore, and in the process, stuck the city with a big tab for things like law enforcement and health department initiatives aimed at fighting the epidemic.
“In one way or another, the city pays for every prescription,” Davis said.
The big name defendant in the case is Purdue Pharma.
On the homepage of the company’s website, there is a link to a letter addressing the opioid crisis, but Davis says he’s going after everyone, from leaders in the drug industry, to local pill mills.
He says they are all dangerous, and they’re all damaging.
“To the city, to the people of the city, to the financial well being of the city,” Davis said.
If the city wins, any money would go into the general fund, and then be used to pay back police, the health department, and other departments tapped financially to fight the crisis.
The lawsuit will be filed in state circuit court, and city attorneys say they will fight to keep it there.