County in Hawaii joins opioid lawsuit against drug companies

HILO — Hawaii County has joined a multi-state lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies over opioid addiction and overdoses.

West Hawaii Today reported Thursday that the county council on the Big Island voted 6-2 Wednesday to hire attorneys who will enter the county in litigation focused on manufacturers and distributors of opioids that began about a year ago.

The newspaper reports that a contingency arrangement would pay attorneys from the Hawaii Accident Law Center in Honolulu and a New York law firm through proceeds received if they win or settle the case.

Council members who voted for the measure say big pharmaceutical firms caused the opioid crisis and should help fix it.

Councilors who voted against the deal say they have philosophical issues with blaming manufacturers for improper use of their products.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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