Augusta, Maine Considering Joining Opioid Litigation

April 4, 2018

Augusta city councilors on Thursday are expected to decide whether the city should join with other municipalities and counties in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies over claims that information was withheld information about how addictive their drugs could be.

Drug overdoses killed a record 418 Mainers last year, an 11 percent increase over the 376 overdose deaths in 2016. Opioids, including prescription painkillers as well as illicit drugs such as heroin, were responsible for 354 of those deaths.

A lawsuit brought by Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, of New York, and Trafton, Matzen, Belleau & Frenette LLP, of Auburn, alleges drug companies suppressed knowledge of the risks of addiction to opiates, and the public has suffered as a result.

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