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Dayton, Lorain To Sue Drug Companies For Opioid Epidemic Costs

Less than a week after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the state is suing five pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic, the city of Dayton is bringing its own suit. Mayor Nan Whaley Monday announced the lawsuit, which she says is needed to recover costs associated with police, fire, EMS and addiction treatment services.

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Credit Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Recent numbers show the city is on pace to more than double 2016’s total overdose deaths. Whaley says the lawsuit is intended to hold opioid-makers and distributors accountable for rising emergency response expenses.

“When you’re dealing [with the epidemic], and our police and fire and first responders are dealing day in and day out, it’s not fair that Dayton taxpayers have to pay for the crisis. And we think the people that started it – and it’s an epidemic, I view it as almost a natural disaster in our community – they should pay for that, and it shouldn’t be on the burden of Dayton taxpayers.”

Whaley has made the opioid epidemic a key issue in her campaign for governor.

Officials with the city of Lorain have also announced a separate lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

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