Florida Cities May Sue Drug Makers For Opioid Deaths

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida city is considering suing companies that make and distribute prescription painkillers, alleging they are partly to blame for a rise in overdose deaths.

Jacksonville city officials say they responded to 1,000 more overdose calls in 2016 than the previous year. And they expect to administer three times as much of a drug that reverses opioid overdoses this year compared to 2015.The city predicts it will spend more than $4 million to transport overdose victims this year.

Attorneys told Jacksonville city councilmen that local governments have standing for a case because of the costs associated with opioid addiction, like increased pressure on emergency and police budgets.

The city of Delray Beach has already hired the firm. The Florida Times-Union reports complaints have been filed yet but the firm says its preparing to file against six drug makers and two distributors.