Baldwin Co. considers joining lawsuit against pharma companies amidst opioid crisis
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) —
Baldwin County is considering joining a nationwide fight against big pharmaceutical companies amidst the opioid crisis.
With its booming tourism and growing population, it's no secret that Baldwin County continues to be one of the most desirable areas in the entire state.
But even Baldwin County is no stranger to the dangers of opioid addiction, the impact of which is widespread.
Officials say opioid addiction is felt in the sheriff's office and jail as well as the courthouse, hospitals and of course, homes.
Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey said county leaders are now considering joining the fight against the pharmaceutical companies accused of tricking doctors into prescribing more opioids.
"It costs every body in society and we have to figure out how to manage that, how to find solutions for folks in that situation as well as figure out how we're going to pay for it," said Dorsey.
The lawsuit also claims that the companies are skirting laws to push prescription drugs into the community.
"We've been approached by a lot of different law firms about representing us in a case that would be trying to get the manufacturers to offset the cause of what opioids are doing to our community," Dorsey said.
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack told NBC 15 that he also supports civil action against pharma companies allegedly involved in the opioid crisis.
According to Sheriff Mack, the crisis has impacted his department and actually raised the age of a standard drug addict which has increased the burden on the jail.
Commissioner Dorsey said the Baldwin County Commission will likely make their decision on whether or not to join a lawsuit over the next few weeks.
"As long as we represent the people of Baldwin County the correct way and we're trying to mitigate what we think the potential damages are going to be, it's kind of hard not to get involved in a lawsuit because it'll be a no cost law suit," said Dorsey.
Dorsey said if a judgement or settlement were to come down, the county would likely include a demand for the pharma companies to set up rehab programs for addicts impacted by the crisis.