Amherst to Sue Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors Over Epidemic

Mar. 5, 2018
Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa says the opioid epidemic has been an 'injustice' to Amherst and its taxpayers. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)
Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa says the opioid epidemic has been an “injustice” to Amherst and its taxpayers. 

Petty crime from the opioid epidemic and calls to respond to an increasing number of overdoses have put a strain on resources in the Town of Amherst, including its police and courts, officials say.

Now, the Town of Amherst is set to file a lawsuit in State Supreme Court against major manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain medication. The town’s suit, to be filed Tuesday, accuses the companies of public nuisance, fraud, negligence and unfair business practices, said Deputy Town Attorney Jeffrey E. Marion, who prepared the case.

“It is a bipartisan issue,” Marion said. “Everybody agrees this has gotten completely out of control, that we just can’t keep putting profits over people in these situations. We have plenty of momentum.”

Cities and counties across the state and nationally have filed similar suits alleging that the drug companies misled doctors and patients into believing that the new prescription painkillers were safe even though they knew the drugs were highly addictive. Erie County filed a suit in February 2017. Last week, the federal government offered its support to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Cleveland that consolidates 400 complaints against opioid companies.

But, in New York at least, Amherst is believed to be a rare example of a town seeking unspecified damages for the toll of the opioid epidemic.
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2 Responses to “Amherst to Sue Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors Over Epidemic”

  1. JOE D. says:

    In the same vein…what’s next? distillers , brewers, liquor stores?
    Is self control now a thing of the past?

  2. John Tomaczyk says:

    What a joke, Amherst is in trouble, the supervisor wants to control everything, which is amazing when he doesn’t work full time